Status Offenses


Status offenses are acts prohibited by law which would not be a crime if committed by an adult, such as truancy, running away, tobacco possession or curfew violations.

  • The two types of Status offense petitions filed by the Juvenile Court are:
    • Child in Need of Services (CHINServ) - Child whose behavior, conduct or condition presents or results in a serious threat to the well-being and physical safety of the child.
    • Child in Need of Supervision (CHINSup) - Child who is habitually truant without justification or who is a habitual runaway.

If your teenager is exhibiting these behaviors and you would like the Court's help, you can make an appointment with the Juvenile Intake Unit. Their phone number is 703-246-2495 from 7am until midnight. From midnight to 7am, please call 703-246-2844, and ask for the Intake Officer. At the appointment, an Intake Officer will discuss the situation and outline what options are available to you.

 

What is the legal definition of Child in Need of Services (CHINS-Services)?

According to Section 16.1-228 of the Code of Virginia, "Child in need of services" means (i) a child whose behavior, conduct or condition presents or results in a serious threat to the well-being and physical safety of the child or (ii) a child under the age of 14 whose behavior, conduct or condition presents or results in a serious threat to the well-being and physical safety of another person; however, no child who in good faith is under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination shall for that reason alone be considered to be a child in need of services, nor shall any child who habitually remains away from or habitually deserts or abandons his family as a result of what the court or the local child protective services unit determines to be incidents of physical, emotional or sexual abuse in the home be considered a child in need of services for that reason alone.

However, to find that a child falls within these provisions, (i) the conduct complained of must present a clear and substantial danger to the child's life or health or to the life or health of another person, (ii) the child or his family is in need of treatment, rehabilitation or services not presently being received, and (iii) the intervention of the court is essential to provide the treatment, rehabilitation or services needed by the child or his family.

 

What is the legal definition of Child in Need of Supervision (CHINS-Supervision)?

According to Section 16.1-228 of the Code of Virginia, "Child in need of supervision" means:

  1. A child who, while subject to compulsory school attendance, is habitually and without justification absent from school, and (i) the child has been offered an adequate opportunity to receive the benefit of any and all educational services and programs that are required to be provided by law and which meet the child's particular educational needs, (ii) the school system from which the child is absent or other appropriate agency has made a reasonable effort to effect the child's regular attendance without success, and (iii) the school system has provided documentation that it has complied with the provisions of § 22.1-258; or
  2. A child who, without reasonable cause and without the consent of his parent, lawful custodian or placement authority, remains away from or deserts or abandons his family or lawful custodian on more than one occasion or escapes or remains away without proper authority from a residential care facility in which he has been placed by the court, and (i) such conduct presents a clear and substantial danger to the child's life or health, (ii) the child or his family is in need of treatment, rehabilitation or services not presently being received, and (iii) the intervention of the court is essential to provide the treatment, rehabilitation or services needed by the child or his family.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2013

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version