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Creating an alternative for troubled youth

Statewide effort promotes CHINS reform

Members of Worcester-based EPOCA rally supporting CHINS reform at the State House in mid-April, while State Rep. James O’Day of Worcester (far left) speaks. (click for larger version)
May 02, 2012
SOUTHBRIDGE — For years, youths in trouble have found themselves often being directed into the CHINS system, an acronym for "child in need of services."

Unfortunately, regional activists argue, many have found they don't actually get the kinds of services they need and end up in the criminal justice system. That's why they're pushing a bill, which has already passed the Senate as S. 1963, to reform the process by creating an alternative pathway called FACES — "Families and Children Engaged in Services."

The new model essentially aims to do for kids in potential legal trouble what the "Rosie D" court case initiated for those diagnosed with mental illnesses — create a system of "wrap-around" service coordination to help them and their families and keep them out of the courts.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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