Does your child constantly skip school, stay out pass curfew, spend nights out, or simply refuses to do anything you say? Are you not sure how to…

Does your child constantly skip school, stay out pass curfew, spend nights out, or simply refuses to do anything you say? Are you not sure how to discipline your teen? There are resources for parents who feel their kids are “out of control”.


A lot of the resources vary by state so it’s important to check to find out which ones are options for you. Some states give parents the option of filing a petition with their local courts to address their child’s behavioral problems. These petitions are often referred to as a Minor in Need of Services (MINS), Child in Need of Services (CHINS), or Family in Need of Services (FINS) petition. The guidelines will also vary but the goal of the petition is very similar regardless of the state.


The MINS, CHINS, and FINS allow for parents to petition the court for an assessment. If it is determined that the youth and/or family is eligible to receive services, a judge may order a range of services (community service, counseling, detention center, secure shelter stay, etc.) or implement rules that the youth have to follow (e.g. meet a curfew, attend school). Remember each case is handled on an individual basis and it’s usually at the discretion of the judge. For more information, give us a call at the National Runaway Safeline and we can help you find contact numbers for a petition in your state.


In addition to petitions, the National Guard Youth Challenge Program is an alternative school with a military structure available to youth who no longer attend school. However, it is not available in every state. Their website has information about the program and you can determine if there’s a Challenge program near you.


– Dyanne

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