CHINS Reform Law

Governor Patrick signs the new legislation. Pictured with Representative Paul Donato and Senator Karen Spilka, the champions of CHINS reform

If you, or a child in your life, require assistance, call 211 or visit www.mass211.org to be connected to resources in your community.
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On August 7, 2012, Governor Patrick signed S.2410, An Act Relative to Families and Children Engaged in Services (FACES), into the General Laws, making it Chapter 240 of the Acts of 2012. This landmark legislation is the culmination of seven hard-fought years spent up on Beacon Hill, and will right many of the wrongs of the decades-old CHINS system that treated truant and runaway children as criminals.  The new legislation emphasizes community-based services for FACES.

The law came into effect on November 5, 2012, and has major implications for the universe of individuals, organizations, courts, school systems, and state and municipal agencies and offices tasked with implementing the new legislation.  Below are documents, provided by a variety of sources, which are meant to serve as guidelines for the many constituencies who serve these children and their families.

To read the legislation in its entirety:  Chapter 240 of the Acts and Regulations of 2012: An Act Regarding Families and Children Engaged in Services

To read a history of the CHINS Reform process, access prior testimony, and learn more about the fight to change a broken system, visit the CHINS Reform History page.

Advisory Board:

The legislation establishes a Families and Children Requiring Assistance Advisory Board (Advisory Board). The Advisory Board’s duties include advising EOHHS, collecting and reporting data, and monitoring implementation of the legislation specifically around family resource centers.

FACES Advisory Board members 2-21-13

The meetings are scheduled as follows for calendar year 2015 and will be held at One Ashburton Place, 21st Floor Conference Room, Boston, MA. They are open to the public.

  • April 16, 2015- 11:00-1:00pm
  • May 14, 2015-2:00-4:00pm
  • June 11, 2015-11:00-1:00pm
  • July 16, 2015-11:00-1:00pm
  • August 13,2015- 11:00-1:00pm
  • September 17, 2015- 11:00-1:00pm
  • October 15, 2015-11:00-1:00pm
  • November 12, 2015- 11:00-1:00pm
  • December 17, 2015- 11:00-1:00pm
Reports of the Advisory Committee

Family Resource Centers:

EOHHS also released a draft outline of what Family Resource Centers (FRCs) would look like under this statute. They presented this outline in multiple areas across the state during 2013. DCF FRC Community Meeting Presentation

UMASS Medical School was awarded the contract for the Administrative Services Organization (ASO) to support the FRC network, with core support functions including: program management and oversight; data management and collection; program evaluation and reporting; training and professional development; and communications support, including a centralized website for FRCs and all CRA information.

In 2014-2015, the FRCs are beginning a pilot year, with one site per county. The following is a list of cites and towns who will host an FRC. CLM hopes to see these FRCs expanded throughout more communities in the Commonwealth in the coming year.

County Location Provider
Hampshire Amherst Clinical and Support Options
Barnstable Barnstable Family Continuity
Suffolk Boston Home for Little Wanderers
Plymouth Brockton United Way of Greater Plymouth Co.
Franklin Greenfield Community Action
Essex Lawrence Family Services of Merrimack Valley
Middlesex Lowell Northeastern Family Institute
Bristol New Bedford United Way of Greater New Bedford
Berkshire Pittsfield Berkshire Children and Families
Norfolk Quincy Bay State Community Services
Hampden Springfield Gandara Mental Health Center
Worcester Worcester Y.O.U., Inc.
Dukes Oak Bluffs Martha’s Vineyard Comm. Services
Nantucket Nantucket Family Continuity

 

Runaway Assistance Program:

General Information:

Section-By-Section summary prepared by the Children’s League of Massachusetts: Ch 240 of the Acts of 2012 Section Summary – Final

Detailed summary of the new law:  FACES Law – Detailed Summary

Short summary of the new law: FACES Law – Short Summary

Positions Advocated For and Final Legislative Results

PowerPoint presentation given by MSPCC at Children’s Hospital: FACES Lunch and Learn final

Power Point presentation given by the Executive Office for Health and Human Services: From CHINS to FACES

Power Point presentation on design of Family Resource Centers (FRCs) FRC Community Meeting Presentation Report 2013

Brochure about the new law: Know the law

Information for Parents, Guardians and Custodians:

FACES – Parent Handbook from MA Juvenile Court

CWLA Article – CHINS Reform

Information for Law Enforcement Officials:

CPCS – Flow Chart for FACES Cases
ALP Non-Secure List
Changes to Juvenile Law Regarding FACES
Police Practices Under the Massachusetts FACES Statute

Information for Courts and Legal Counsel:

DCF Presentation on FACES Bill_SWAC
Juvenile Court – Flow Chart for FACES Cases

CLM wishes to wholeheartedly thank those who worked hard to produce the many documents we’ve linked to, including, the Children’s Mental Health Campaign, www.publiccounsel.net, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, Massachusetts Municipal Police Training, and others.

Together we are working to achieve a better system, and a better future for the children of Massachusetts!