Today, the lives of thousands of children and families
changed because of your advocacy!
CHINS Reform is now law!
Earlier today, with little fanfare, Governor Patrick signed S.2410, CHINS Reform, into the General Laws making it Chapter 240 of the Acts of 2012! We are hopeful that a ceremonial signing of this landmark legislation will take place this fall at the State House. CLM will be sure to let all of you know so that you can join us in this monumental event, which was 7 years in the making and took each and every one of you to make happen!
If you haven't had a chance to thank the lead champions on this reform, please take a minute to do so:
Senator Karen Spilka worked countless hours on this reform and it was her determination, will and running the bill to the House Chamber in the Legislature's final minutes that got this bill passed.
Representative Paul Donato has been with this reform form the beginning stages in 2005 also, and it was his steady hand that help see its passage in the House.
CLM would like to thank the Governor for his swift signature; Secretary Bigby for her support; the Legislative Champions for their determination; the advocates who called and emailed; and, the youth who came forward and shared their stories - it was you who gave CHINS a face and a name.
The following release is from State House News Service:
PATRICK SIGNS YOUTH SERVICES LAW
A bill revamping the way the state helps children who consistently get in trouble at home or school was signed by Gov. Deval Patrick Tuesday, ending a years-long effort by the bill's supporters. Under the legislation (S 2410), the state will use social services agencies to create a network capable of helping troubled children and their families rather than first sending them to juvenile court. "By creating a statewide network of supports, we will help keep more children with their families and schools, and out of the court system," Patrick said in a statement after signing the bill. "These reforms will strengthen our communities and families for generations to come." The Children in Need Services (CHINS) program, created almost 40 years ago to help runaway and truant children, will be overhauled and renamed to remove the stigma associated with being involved in the program, according to supporters. Known as Families and Children Engaged in Services (FACES), the new program calls for family resource centers to provide coordinated services, including behavioral health, medical services, mentoring, family and parent support, as well as after-school opportunities. The legislation also requires school districts to create truancy prevention programs. The program largely shifts responsibility from the juvenile courts and probation department to the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. "This is all about empowering our children and families to thrive and succeed in their communities," Health and Human Services Secretary JudyAnn Bigby said in a statement. "By keeping youth out of the courts and in their communities and schools, we are increasing their chances at living full and productive lives." - C. Quinn/ SHNS
If you would like to see what is included in the final CHINS bill, Click Here.