Truancy & Family With Service Needs (FWSN) Referrals

In an effort to divert Connecticut youth from the Juvenile Justice System, the Connecticut Youth Services Association (CYSA) has worked with the state to take over referrals that have historically been sent to the court systems and the Department of Children and Families. This includes referrals for truancy and Family With Services Needs (FWSN). These referrals are now sent to your local Youth Service Bureau (YSB) as a community hub to complete an intake evaluation to support the youth and family in accessing services to help address underlying needs contributing to referral behaviors. This approach recognizes the complex nature of these ongoing challenges, that families as a whole are doing their best to address, and might need additional supports to help a young person navigate toward success instead of trying to scare them with threat of punishment into making better choices.

So what does that mean? It means you and your young person (under age 18) are invited to meet with us to talk about what might help instead of being sent to court.

Truancy is defined by the State of Connecticut as 4 or more unexcused absences from school in a 30 day period or 10 unexcused absences from school during any given school year. Families can check their school handbooks for definitions of an "unexcused absence". Schools will work with families before reaching these thresholds to try to identify supports but if attendance difficulties continue, schools must complete a referral with family permission to the local Youth Services Bureau (for Mansfield residents, that's us!) for additional supports and referrals.

Family With Services Needs (FWSN) referrals may be completed by families, healthcare providers, or police to help connect a youth who has run away from home, engaged in indecent or immoral conduct, or is otherwise beyond the control of a parent or guardian to services that will help support the young person and their family around these behaviors.

Have questions? Check out our related guides/resources below or give us a call at (860)429-3319. FWSN Referral forms for Mansfield youth should be submitted to us at Mansfield Youth Services electronically via email ( or by mail to Mansfield Youth Services at 4 South Eagleville Road, Mansfield, CT 06268. For non-Mansfield residents, find your local Youth Service Bureau listed by CYSA.