New Hampshire narrowed the definition of children in need of services in 2011. Prior to this, CHINS were treated as status offenders. The new definition of CHINS is a child 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. Status offenders are not delineated in statute. The upper age for delinquency jurisdiction is 16, while the lower age for delinquency jurisdiction is not specified.
Status offense cases are classified as children in need of services. The Family Division of Circuit Court has jurisdiction over status offenders and delinquent youth in 9 out of 10 counties; in the other county, Cheshire, the District Division of Circuit Court has jurisdiction over status offenders and delinquents. A court may extend jurisdiction until a juvenile reaches 21.