Thursday, January 5, 2012


Before Christmas I contacted CYFD (Children Youth and Families Department) about a student who has had over 20 absences. The person at the statewide central intake seemed very concerned.....but then just this week I received a letter from them stating....and I quote,
"Generally, CPS does not investigate educational neglect of children above the elementary school level. In accordance with policy, we have cross reported your referral to the FINS Program (JJS), and to law enforcement." 
Where do I begin?

* So, after elementary school it really doesn't matter whether our children attend school or not??

* At least they still admit that they are, in fact, "children."

* This is a policy? So this EMBARRASSING rule has been agreed to by a bunch of people and is actually written down somewhere.

* I had no idea what the FINS Program (JJS) was so I GOOGLED it. The only program site I could find was for one in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,but it is FAMILIES IN NEED OF SERVICES. There description is as follows:
"The FINS process begins with a written complaint, submitted to the FINS program office alleging that a family is in need of services.  Anyone may file a complaint, however, it is most common that law enforcement, school officials and parents make the referrals.  Grounds for such a complaint are that a child is truant or has willfully and repeatedly violated lawful school rules, ungovernable, a runaway, in possession of or consuming intoxicating substances, the caretaker is contributing to the child's problematic behavior, and/or the caretaker willfully fails to attend meeting with school officials to discuss child's problem. Once a complaint is filed, the family is expected to cooperate with efforts to resolve its problems as recommended by FINS. If these recommendations are not followed, FINS may refer the family to court, a FINS conference, and/or a hearing before a judge.  If a hearing should happen, each and every member of the family shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court."
* I thought this was the job of CYFD. Maybe there is a some overlap of services here. Maybe some cost cutting and reorganizing would benefit them, so the right hand actually knows what the left hand is doing.

* Every educator that I have ever spoken to believes, as I do, that CYFD is a joke! They have no teeth, only look good on paper and do not ultimately help anyone.


Headless Mom said...

While I have no true basis for this opinion, I think that most states' children/family services departments are a joke. And with budget cuts getting deeper and deeper I'm guessing it will only get worse before it can get better. Sorry.

Connie said...

What is your school's policy for reporting this degree of absence? It seems remarkable to me that there is not a well-worn path to address this problem.