What is PINS?

Person in Need of Supervision - A person less than eighteen years of age who does not attend school in accordance with the provisions of Part One of Article 65 of the New York State Education Law or who is incorrigible, ungovernable or habitually disobedient and beyond the lawful control of a parent or other person legally responsible for such child’s care, or other lawful authority, or who violates the provisions of Section 231.05 of the New York State Penal Law, L 2000, c.596, sub, Sec 2, off. July 1, 2002.

Non Criminal Complaints about the behavior of young persons less than 18 years of age are handled by Family Court. These charges usually involve situations like school truancy, running away, late hours, sexual activity or repeated disobedience to legitimate authority such as parents or guardians, schools or foster care agencies.

These matters are currently referred to as PINS which stands for a "Person in Need of Supervision." The person making the complaint is the potential petitioner and the youth about whom the complaint is made is referred to as the potential respondent.

PINS Legislation added some changes in 2005. This paragraph describes those changes in procedure. A parent or school must be able to describe Five (5) instances of PINS behavior within the last 6 months. This must include the date and time of such behavior. If your child has runaway from home, please file a missing persons report before coming to our Department to file a PINS intake. A school must be able to demonstrate what it has done to alleviate such behavior, including outcomes, before an intake can be opened. This would include all available resources to the school and youth at that time. A parent must be willing to participate in treatment designed for their child through a number of assessments. Until it is determined that all available community resources have been utilized to alleviate the PINS behavior, a petition to Family Court will not be filed.

The best advice is to act early. If you are experiencing difficulty with your child, the sooner you get help, the better. Once your child reaches 18 years of age, your ability to assist them is limited.

PINS Instructions

The following forms are to assist Parents and Schools in preparing the necessary information. In preparing these forms you will need to observe the PINS behavior and detail what you see by recording the specific incidents by date and time. Again, the time period referred to is the last six months. Please make sure that the instances you detail did not all occur in that same week and two incidents on the same day will be treated as one.


Complete the form with the five (5) specific instances. Please be prepared to sign an affidavit stating these allegations. Call the office at 344-2550, Ext. 2252, for an appointment. Please bring picture ID of yourself, such as a driver’s license so that your affidavit can be notarized.

Be Prepared to….

  • Participate in a family assessment
  • Make every attempt to resolve the issues using available community resources
  • See legal counsel where applicable
  • Be financially responsible for your child’s care if placed outside your home. (You could be assessed up to 17% of your income.)


In addition to five (5) specific instances you must include the steps you have taken to improve attendance and/or conduct of the student with the school resources you have on file with this Department. There is an attachment for that information.

How the Diversion Process Works

  • Assessments and case plans will be developed to address the identified needs.
  • Participation is expected by the parents and respondent in the Diversion process. If one or the other fails to contribute in resolving the issues, Family Court may be petitioned for an Order of Protection directing the party to participate.
  • Community resources will be utilized in identified need areas to assist the family.
  • Only after it has been determined that there is no substantial likelihood that either the youth or parents would benefit from further attempts at diversion can a petition be filed.

Community Resources

Criminal Complaints: Your child’s behavior may warrant contacting your local police agency. This could include physical assault or theft.

School: If problems are also exhibited at school, you may request assistance from the school your child attends.

Counseling Services: There are a variety of both public/private agencies and individual professionals that can provide assistance. Please refer to the yellow pages of your phone book.

Social Services: Please call (585)344-2580, Ext. 6487 for information on how to access DSS services, which may benefit your particular family’s circumstances.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Please refer to the yellow pages of your phone book for local agencies and professionals.

Churches and Synagogues - Please see your yellow pages