(a) The department of children's services shall establish juvenile-family crisis intervention programs to provide continuous twenty-four (24) hour on-call service designed to attend and stabilize juvenile-family crises. The crisis intervention program may, in appropriate cases, work with the family on a short-term basis. The juvenile-family crisis intervention program may make referrals for appropriate services needed to continue resolution of the crisis.
(b) The juvenile-family crisis intervention programs may serve as an alternative to juvenile court in situations where a juvenile-family crisis exists and there has been either:
(1) A request by a parent or juvenile for intervention; or
(2) A referral by a public or private agency, educational institution or any other organization serving children, that has contact with the juvenile or family, and has reason to believe that a family crisis exists.
(c) If there has already been court intervention through the filing of a petition or otherwise, the court may refer appropriate cases to the juvenile-family crisis intervention program. If the department is providing non-custodial services to a child or family, or both, it may provide services through its juvenile-family crisis intervention program if appropriate.
(d) If, in the judgment of the juvenile-family crisis intervention program, a juvenile-family crisis continues to exist despite the provision of crisis intervention services and the exhaustion of appropriate community services, then the juvenile-family crisis intervention program shall, in writing or through sworn testimony, certify to the juvenile court that there is no other less drastic measure than court intervention. The court may then proceed by accepting a petition or acting on a pending petition and hold a hearing to determine what is in the best interest of the child consistent with § 37-1-132 and any other applicable laws under this part.
Acts 1994, ch. 1000, §§ 2, 4; 1996, ch. 1079, § 106; 2008, ch. 906, § 1.
Compiler's Notes. Acts 1994, ch. 1000, § 1 provided that the intent of the general assembly in enacting this section is to implement services to reduce the number of unruly children, as defined in T.C.A. § 37-1-102, who are referred to juvenile court and to reduce the number of unruly children who are placed in state custody.
The office of children's services administration in the department of finance and administration is responsible for implementing the provisions of Acts 1994, ch. 1000. See Executive Order No. 58 (June 29, 1994).