Youth Services

What does the Youth Investigations Unit do?

  • The primary function of the Youth Investigations unit is storage and maintenance of all juvenile records
  • The primary function of the Youth Investigations Unit is storage and maintenance of all juvenile records
  • We provide statistical information concerning juvenile arrests
  • Our office is the primary location where detectives interview and obtain written statements of juveniles involved in serious crimes
  • We interview and counsel with juveniles that are evaluated for entry into the First Offender program. If the juvenile is not eligible for the First Offender Program we prepare the paperwork that we forward to the Juvenile Probation Department and Juvenile Courts.
  • We notify schools of juvenile’s arrest for specific crimes as required by state law

Where is the Youth Investigations Unit’s located?
We are located on the first floor of the Thomas R. Windham, Police Administration building at 350 West Belknap Street.

What hours are you open?
Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. We are closed on City Holidays.

Does the Police Department have a “Scared Straight” or “Boot Camp” program for juveniles?
The Fort Worth Police Department is not affiliated with any programs of these types.

What is the First Offender Program?
Rather than send the juvenile to court, the juvenile and their parent are offered the opportunity to attend classes at Family Matters of Lena Pope home. There is no charge for this program which brings both the juvenile and parents to participate in separate structured 90-minute classes once a week for seven weeks. With over 1,200 juveniles enrolled since its inception, 79% have successfully completed the program.

What are the qualifications to be enrolled in the First Offender program?
Each juvenile is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The program is intended for juveniles who have been taken into custody (arrested) the first time for minor crimes such as shoplifting or evading arrest. Juveniles taken into custody for crimes involving drugs, weapons or assaults are not eligible.

What are the benefits of taking the classes?
In addition to not being sent to court, 90-days after graduation from the program, the police department deletes the juvenile offender’s information from all reports and records. This deletes the juvenile’s arrest record without the need of an attorney.

What is discussed in the program?
Family Matters employs licensed counselors who address issues of misbehavior and irresponsibility. The program also focuses on parenting skills to assist families in decreasing negative behaviors at home, in the school and in the community using short-term, family-focused intensive services.

Is our discussion confidential?
What is discussed in the classes is completely confidential and not discussed with the police department; therefore, may not be used in any criminal proceedings.

For more information regarding the First Offender Program offered by Lena Pope Home, Inc., contact:

Lena Pope Home, Inc.
3131 Sanguinet Street
Forth Worth, TX 76107

Family Matters/Counseling office: (This is NOT a mailing address)
3800 Hulen Street, suite 150
Fort Worth, TX 76107 

Contact Number for questions: 817-255-2652

Job Corps wants a copy of my juvenile record, how do I obtain one?                                                   Under Texas Family Code, Section 58.106, Confidentiality of Juvenile Records, “…information contained in the juvenile justice information system is confidential information for the use of the department and may not be disseminated by the department…”  Therefore, without a court order we cannot comply with a request for a juvenile criminal history or confirm that there is no juvenile history on record from the Fort Worth Police Department. We will give you a letter on Police Department letterhead with this information when you personally visit our office. The juvenile must bring government issued identification such as a driver’s license, school identification, birth certificate or Social Security Card.

Teen Curfew

The purpose of the curfew ordinance is to prevent juveniles from committing or becoming victims of crime.

What is the History of the ordinance?                                                                                            Research into a juvenile curfew began in 1991. The initial ordinance was delayed until a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance involving the City of Dallas was resolved.  After the Supreme Court upheld the Dallas Ordinance, The Fort Worth Teen Curfew Ordinance was passed by City Council and became effective on July 5, 1994. The ordinance must be reviewed and approved every three years by City Council.

What are the hours of coverage?                                                                                                        The curfew is in effect after 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.  On Saturday and Sunday, the curfew is in effect at 12:01 a.m.  The curfew ends at 6 a.m. seven days a week.

 When is the Teen Curfew violated?

  • When a minor remains in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the city during curfew hours
  • When a parent or guardian of a minor knowingly permits the minor to violate the curfew ordinance
  • When the owner, operator, or any employee of an establishment knowingly allows a minor to remain at the establishment during curfew hours

What are the defenses to a violation of the Teen Curfew Ordinance?
That the Teen was:

  • Accompanied by the minor's parent or guardian
  • On an errand at the direction of the minor's parent or guardian
  • Engaged or going to or returning from an employment activity
  • Involved in an emergency
  • On the sidewalk abutting the minor's residence or abutting the residence of a next-door neighbor if the neighbor did not complain to the police department
  • Attending an official school, religious, or other recreational activity supervised by adults
  • Exercising First Amendment rights
  • Married or certified as an adult

To view the most recently approved Teen Curfew Ordinance click the following link: The City of Fort Worth Curfew for Minors (pdf)

What is the age when a person is considered a juvenile or an adult?

  • Texas Penal Code defines a juvenile as between 10 and 16
  • Family Code requires parental responsibility for their child until the child is 17
  • Texas Education Code Compulsory School Attendance affects persons between 6 and 18
  • City of Fort Worth Ordinances:

o   The Teen Curfew ordinance states – “Minor means any person under 17 years of age”

o   The Bicycle Helmet Ordinance states – “Child is any person under 18 years of age”

  • Federal laws regarding Runaways require law enforcement entry into NCIC of persons as a Runaway under age 18, but prohibit law enforcement from notifying the parents of the Runaway’s location if they are located
  • Various Tobacco laws and ordinances prohibit the possession of tobacco by persons under 18
  • Various Alcohol laws and ordinances prohibit the possession of alcohol by persons under 21

Additional Resources
For questions about a citation received by a juvenile contact: Fort Worth Municipal Teen Court, (817) 392-8681

Fort Worth Independent School District Attendance Court, (817) 496-1076.  Note: Only payments for Parent Contributing and Failure to Attend cases are accepted at this location.

For all questions regarding juvenile runaways in Fort Worth, contact the Fort Worth Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit at (817) 392-4435.

For a directory of troubled teen programs and schools located in America.

The Parenting Center
(817) 731- 8839
2928 West Fifth St
Fort Worth, TX 76107-2291

The Excel Center
(817) 335-6429
1220 W. Presidio St
Fort Worth, TX 76102