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Children Requiring Assistance (CRA) takes the place of CHINS

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed June 10, 2014


If you need help controlling your child, get in touch with Mass 211 to find services in your community. They can connect you with services for children who have serious problems at home or in school. Dial 211 on your phone or search their website.

What is CHINS?

CHINS (Child in Need of Services) was a law that gave parents and schools the right to ask the court for help when a child runs away from home, skips school, breaks school rules, or “refuses to obey the lawful and reasonable command” of his or her parent.
Often parents lost custody of their children. And children ended up with criminal records and worse.

When children do not obey their parents or the school, everyone needs help. The help does not always have to be taking a child away from your home and family.

What is CRA?

Children Requiring Assistance (CRA) is a new law that takes the place of CHINS. It changes the way the court helps families. It came into effect in 2012.

We are updating this section. We will have more information about CRA at the end of June.

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