Adolescent / Ungovernable Services

Defining the Ungovernable Child 

An adolescent between the ages of 10 and 18 who has committed a specific act or acts of habitual disobedience of the reasonable and lawful commands of his/her parent, guardian or custodian. Behavioral examples of ungovernability include but are not limited to:

  • Curfew Violations
  • Drug/Alcohol Involvement
  • Running Away
  • Gang Involvement
  • Verbally Abusive
  • Sexual Promiscuity

Where to Turn

  • The Adolescent and Family Services Unit is responsible for handling parent or guardian-referred youth who are beyond the control of his or her parent.
  • The Truancy Unit is responsible for handling school-referred behavioral issues. 
  • Child Abuse Investigative Units are responsible for investigating reports of child abuse and neglect.

For This Support, Contact ChildLine  or call ChildLine 1-800-932-0313 or call Montgomery County Children & Youth (610) 278-5800.

Delinquency matters are handled by the Montgomery County Juvenile Probation Office, (610) 630-2252.

If Your Child is Ungovernable

  1. Family to seek supportive community services if available in an attempt to resolve issues of parent/child conflict.
  2. Call the Office of Children and Youth for Adolescent Services. Referral of the adolescent and/or family may be made for behavioral health services such as individual counseling or family therapy, drug and alcohol treatment, or other community resources such as specialized parent education classes which can support the parents in managing the child’s behavior. (These services can be accessed directly by parents through community and counseling agencies.) When appropriate, diversionary services may be implemented to support families in lieu of opening a formal child welfare case.
  3. Family Assessment and Service Provision. The Adolescent and Family Services Unit has trained professional staff available to assess family dynamics to determine which services, if any, are appropriate to benefit the family. Direct casework services are used to motivate adolescents to accept responsibility for their own behavior and to help make positive behavioral changes; and, to assist parents to be accountable for the behavior of the children and to learn how they may be contributing to family problems and reach resolution.

Adolescent Services

The following services are implemented when determined appropriate by the Office of Children and Youth.

  • Diversion Services: Services designed to provide information, supervision and support to the family without having a formal child welfare case with the Office of Children & Youth.
  • In-Home Services: Services designed to provide regular and ongoing support to all family members within the home environment. Services will focus on accountability or therapeutic intervention depending on the needs of the family. 
  • Placement Services: Placement outside of the adolescent’s home is a last resort and will be considered when the child is in physical danger and after all relative and community resources for temporary housing have been explored.


Adolescent Services Brochure
Truancy Intervention Services