The Family Division handles cases of "Children in Need of Services" also known as CHINS. Petitions are filed to assist children experiencing serious difficulties and who are in need of services in order to protect the child from the long lasting impact of harmful behavior. These petitions may be filed by parents, guardians, schools or law enforcement with the consent of the NH Department of Health and Human Services.
NOTE: The definition of Child in Need of Services (CHINS) and the requirements for filing a CHINS Petition changed on September 30, 2011, when changes to RSA 169-D went into effect. A Child in Need of Services is now defined as, "a child under the age of 18 with a diagnosis of severe emotional, cognitive, or other mental health issues who engages in aggressive, fire setting, or sexualized behaviors that pose a danger to the child or others and who is otherwise unable or ineligible to receive services under 1 RSA 169-B or RSA 169-C".