PINS (Person in Need of Supervision) Diversion is a short-term and voluntary program. A youth may qualify if he/she is exhibiting one or all of the following: truancy, drug and alcohol use, or ungovernable behaviors and habitually disobedient.
Referring to PINS
Parents, law enforcement, or school officials may refer to PINS diversion services. You may access diversion services by contacting the Department of Social Services (DSS) at 315-366-2548 and requesting to speak to the PINS Diversion Program Supervisor. An appointment will be scheduled for you and your child to meet with a caseworker to discuss the issues/concerns, offer assistance, and make referrals to appropriate services.
The Diversion unit will assess what community services are available and what would be most appropriate to address the issues identified.
If the youth has not shown an improvement in the behaviors identified once services are attempted and all options are exhausted, the youth may be referred to the Madison County Family Court Judge for intervention.
The PINS Reform Law became effective in New York State in 2019. Family Court Act was changed to clarify and enhance services for youth and families in an attempt to divert youth from becoming a PINS. Each county in New York State must designate a lead agency for PINS diversion services. The law addresses the need for early and effective interventions of alleged PINS behaviors in youths. It also discourages the placement of PINS youths by requiring local governments and courts to exhaust all community-based preventive alternatives before PINS petitions may be filed. The new law puts responsibility on the parents to also show diligent efforts to stabilize their own family situations through support and linkage to these community-based preventive agencies.