Child In Need of Services (CHINS)

CHINS (Children in Need of Services)



What is CHINS?

A “Child in Need of Services” under Georgia law means a child who is in need of care, guidance, counselling, structure, supervision, treatment, or rehabilitation AND meets one of the following criteria:

  1. Habitually truant from school
  2. Habitually disobedient of the reasonable commands of his or her parent/guardian/legal parent/guardian/legal parent/guardian/legal custodian 
  3. Runaway
  4. Committed an offense applicable only to a child
  5. Wanders or loiters about the streets, highway, or any public place, between the hours  of 12:00 A.M and 5:00 A.M. Disobeys the terms of supervision contained in a court order which has been directed to such child, who has been adjudicated a CHINS
  6. Patronized any bar where alcoholic beverages are being sold, unaccompanied by his or her parent parent/guardian/legal custodian, or who possesses alcoholic beverages
  7. Committed a delinquent act and is in need of supervision but not in need of treatment or rehabilitation


Who can file a CHINS Complaint?

A complaint is an initial pleading describing the circumstances believed to require the court’s intervention. It can be filed by the child’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian, or by a DFCS employee, a school official, a law enforcement officer, or an attorney.


What services are provided?

  1. Gathering information to assess the family's needs and crisis counseling
  2. Making referrals to public and private providers for such services as counseling, substance abuse assessments, and parent training, afterschool tutoring and summer enrichment programs
  3. Staffing with the Effingham County Juvenile Court CHINS Coordinator 
  4. Making recommendations and reporting progress to the court


How do I contact the CHINS Office?


All complaints can be filed online at CHINS Forms | Effingham County, GA


CHINS Coordinator-Bonnie Saxon  912.754.8035