In Massachusetts, the Children in Need of Services program is “designed for youth with behavioral problems” and puts “juvenile courts in charge of matching troubled children with the services required to correct their behavior.”
However, “while the CHINS system has surely intervened successfully countless times, there have been too many instances where parents desperately seeking help for their children have ended up losing them to foster care or institutionalization.”
In response to these challenges, legislators and community members “have worked with parents and children with experience in the [Children in Need of Services program], social service providers and other stakeholders to shape reform. That process has resulted in legislation […] that would allow parents to get community-based mental health and family counseling services without seeking a court order.”
“The system they propose, tagged Families and Children Engaged in Services, or FACES, would be voluntary. Parents would still have access to the courts if they consider it necessary. But most would go directly to community-based centers, where the emphasis would be on helping the entire family and providing immediate mental health treatment where needed.”
Read the full-text of the proposed legislation here.
Read the rest of this quoted Editorial from the Metro West Daily Newshere.