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Children in Need of Services

As a result of recent Juvenile Justice Reform efforts in North Dakota, the 2021 Legislature approved a new program to be provided by the human service system so that children in need of services who have not committed crimes can be served in the community and outside of the Juvenile Court system.

After Aug. 1, 2022, law enforcement and schools should refer children and youth to the NEW Children in Need of Services Team, staffed by Human Service Zone professionals across the state. (Please do NOT continue to make referrals to Juvenile Court). See NDCC 27-20.3-05.

Who the Program Serves

Children/Youth Whose Behaviors Include:

  • Truancy from school
  • Regularly disobeying their parents
  • Using and possessing tobacco and related products
  • Running away

NOTE: The Juvenile Court will continue to serve children/youth who are referred for delinquent behavior under NDCC 27-20.4.


  • Connect children/youth in need of services and their families to appropriate services in the community
  • Focus on prevention, treatment and support and divert individuals from entering the juvenile justice system

To Make a Referral

Parents, guardians, law enforcement officers and school officials can:

  1. Complete a Referral Form (Law Enforcement can use their current referral paperwork if they wish.)
  2. Submit it to:
    FAX: (701) 328-0104
    EMAIL: chins@nd.gov


Information for Educators

School officials filing a referral alleging a child is a child in need of services, must include information that shows:

  • The school district has tried to resolve the concern through all appropriate and available educational approaches; and
  • The school district has sought to engage the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian in solving the concern, but the person has been unable or unwilling to do so, and the problem continues and court intervention is needed.

If a school official is filing a complaint alleging a child is a child in need of services involving a child who is eligible or suspected to be eligible for services under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 [20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.] or Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [29 U.S.C. 725], information must be included, which demonstrates that the legally liable school district:

  • Has determined the child is eligible or suspected to be eligible under the federal IDEA of 1990 [20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.] or Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [29 U.S.C. 725]; and
  • Has reviewed for appropriateness the child's current individualized education program and placement and has made modifications as appropriate.

Contact for Policy Questions

Children and Family Services - ND Department of Human Services
Attn: Cory Pedersen, Director
600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 325
Bismarck ND 58505-0250
Phone: (701) 328-2316
Toll Free: (800) 245-3736
TTY: 711
Fax: (701) 328-3538
Email: dhscfs@nd.gov


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