Your child's school can ask the Juvenile Court for help with your child

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created February, 2021

Your child’s school can file a Child Requiring Assistance (CRA) application to ask the Juvenile Court for help with your child if:

Your child is between 6 and 16 and:

  • does not obey the staff at school or breaks school rules repeatedly, or
  • skips school regularly on purpose. If your child misses 8 days of school in 1 quarter and does not have permission to miss school, they are "habitually truant."

When your child's school files a CRA application about disobedience, they must write the specific steps they took to improve your child’s conduct.

When a school files a CRA application about truancy, they must write on the application:

  • if the school has a truancy prevention program,
  • if your child and your family participated in their truancy prevention program, and
  • the specific steps they took as part of the truancy prevention program to get your child to come to school.

If your child's school files a CRA application, the court will send a copy of the application to you and your child.

The court includes a notice that tells you:

  • the time and place of the hearing,
  • your child has the right to speak at the hearing, and
  • you have the right to speak at the hearing.

The court will appoint an attorney for your child.

The court will also send you a notice about your right to a lawyer.

See Your Right and Your Child’s Right to Have a Lawyer.

See the CRA application form schools use online.

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