The Louisiana Legislature in the 2011 Regular Legislative Session passed Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 44 requesting the chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court to create a Families in Need of Services Commission to study and issue recommendations regarding the governance, structure, target population, and necessary legislation for a Families in Need of Services (FINS) system by submitting a report of its findings and recommendations to the Louisiana Legislature thirty days prior to the 2012 Regular Louisiana Legislative Session. The final FINS Commission Report can be accessed here: FINS Commission Report-FINAL.pdf
SCR 44 stated the commission, as part of its study, shall review nationally recognized state and local model status offender systems and programs in consultation with Louisiana Models for Change, the MacArthur Foundation, and other key stakeholders. SCR 44 stated the appointed commission’s study and recommendations shall address, but not be limited to the following.
- The identification of the state entity or agency best suited to govern, regulate, and oversee FINS services throughout the state. Click here to download materials prepared on Best Practice Considerations for Arriving at a State Entity or Agency.
- The refinement of a FINS target population that aligns with both national best practices and the unique needs of Louisiana’s youth and families. Click here to download materials prepared on Findings from National Models of Status Offenders in Defining a Target Population.
- The inclusion of fundamental components of model status offender programs in the recommended Louisiana system. Click here to download materials prepared on Findings from National Models of Status Offenders in Defining a Target Population summarizing National Models, Policies, and Practices of Service Needs of Status Offending Youth.
- The implementation of due diligence requirements that schools and other agencies provide that diligent efforts have been made prior to referral, ensuring that referring agencies have attempted all appropriate internal interventions before referring to informal or formal FINS. Click here to download materials on National Best Practices regarding Due Diligence prior to Referral of Status Offenders to Court.
- Alternative graduated sanctions and the possible elimination of detention for status offending youth, which have been well-established to expose status offenders to negative peer influences and other harmful circumstances that can often worsen, rather than improve, their behavior. Click here to download materials on National Models: Detention and Alternative Graduated Responses for Status Offending Youth.
- The selection of baseline data elements and a data management system to collect and track outcomes, which is essential for both the success and sustainability of reform. Click here to download materials on Model Data Collection and Outcomes for Best Practice Status Offender Programs.
- Proposed legislation for implementation of commission recommendations. Click here to download materials for Examples of Model Status Offender Legislation.
- Click here to download a Summary of Available and Relevant Louisiana Status Offender Data to Highlight Service Needs.
Other supportive materials on best practices in status offending models are including below for download:
LSU Health Sciences Center- School of Public Health, “National Review of Model Status Offender Program Services,” 2011 (This is a crosswalk of status offender services with side-by-side comparisons of Connecticut, Florida, and Orange County, NY.)