Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS)

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Ask any parent in the state of New York and they will tell you that being a parent is no easy task. Most parents encounter the usual amount of disobedience from their children with situations such as refusing to clean their room and talking back to a parent. But when this disobedient behavior escalates to skipping school repeatedly or leaving home repeatedly without parental consent, families can feel overwhelmed and are in need of support.

These youth have committed no crime and their behavior may be more indicative of harm they have or are suffering from. Most youth and their families will thrive successfully with community-based services, supports and opportunities.

Each municipality in New York State (NYS) must designate a PINS lead agency that is responsible to assess and intervene to support youth with PINS behavior and their families.

PINS Reform

The PINS reform legislation of 2019 reflects the spirit of the broad youth justice reforms in New York State as well as the federal Family First Prevention Services Act. Emphasis is placed on the use and delivery of services safely in the community to exhaust all diversion efforts prior to court intervention, to avoid all unnecessary out-of-home placement, and to safely and swiftly return youth back to their communities if placed. This includes exploring all natural resources for the youth and family, providing equitable access to community-based, trauma-informed, gender-responsive interventions, as well as opportunities for positive youth development supports.

By preserving important connections to a youth’s home community, family and culture, youth have the support to meet their needs in a manner that is individualized and thereby effective to the unique circumstances of each family.

For youth who do require out-of-home placement related to an Article 7 petition, the reform legislation limits the settings in which these can occur, and outlines mandated, time-limited placements requiring immediate and focused permanency planning.

What Is a PINS Petition?

When community-based supports have been exhausted and youth behaviors continue to escalate, a petition in family court under Article 7 of the Family Court Act may need to be considered. The clerk of the court shall accept a petition for filing only if the PINS designated lead agency has documented there is no bar to such petition and diversion services have terminated due to no substantial likelihood of further benefits from such.

For additional information related to Article 7 family court proceedings, please review see the New York Family Court Act on the FindLaw web site.