Section 169-D:1

    169-D:1 Applicability of Chapter; Purpose. –
This chapter shall apply to children in need of services as hereinafter defined and shall be construed and administered in accordance with the following purposes and policies:
I. To recognize that certain behaviors occurring within a family or school environment indicate that a child is experiencing serious difficulties and is in need of services and corrective action in order to protect the child from the irreversibility of certain choices, and to protect the integrity of the family and the authority it must maintain in order to fulfill its responsibilities to raise the next generation. To further provide the child with the treatment, care, guidance, counseling, discipline, supervision, and rehabilitation necessary to assist him in becoming a responsible and productive member of society;
II. To recognize that we must no longer bring the weight of family problems down on the child alone but that parents must be made aware of their contribution to the problem and must account for their role in the solution of the problem, and must accept the responsibility to participate in any program of care ordered by the court in order to assure that the outcome may have a good probability of success while, at the same time, supporting families in their mission to teach values to youth and to exercise reasonable control of their children;
III. To keep a child, whenever possible, in contact with his home community and in a family environment by preserving and strengthening the unity of the family and separating the child from his parents only when it is clearly necessary for his welfare or the interests of public safety, and when it can be clearly shown that a change in custody and control will benefit the child;
IV. To protect the integrity of the family by authorizing adjudication and the imposition of dispositional judgment requiring participation in a plan of services or by offering appropriate voluntary alternatives; and
V. To provide effective judicial procedures through which family service plans are executed and enforced, and which assure the parties fair hearings at which their constitutional and other rights as citizens are recognized and protected.

Source. 1979, 361:2. 1990, 201:6. 1999, 266:1, 2. 2013, 249:1, eff. Sept. 1, 2013.