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Governor Hosts Ceremonial Signing for CHINS Reform Legislation

October 25, 2012


 Rep. Paul Donato, Governor Patrick, and Senator Spilka at the Ceremonial Signing of their bill to transform the CHINS system

On Wednesday, Governor Deval Patrick hosted a ceremonial bill signing of An Act Relative to Families and Children Engaged in Services. This new law, which transforms the 38 year old Children in Need of Services (CHINS) program, was passed by the Legislature passed in July after seven years of dedicated work by its lead sponsors – Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Paul Donato.

The new law breaks down barriers between the juvenile court, parents and the community, and it creates a second access point for children to receive necessary services. It establishes a statewide network of family resource centers to provide community-based intervention and promote school and local resources for both the children in need and their families.

The new system, established under the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, diverts children from the legal process when appropriate and instead provides behavioral, medical and mental health treatment and a number of other behavioral and preventative services including special education evaluations, mentoring, family and parent support, and after-school and out-of-school opportunities.


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