Mass. bill aims to help troubled kids, families
BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts children who often skip school, run away from home and get in trouble could soon benefit from legislation that would change how the state handles their cases.
Passed in the state Legislature this week, the bill would overhaul the state's Children In Need of Services program, which handles troubled kids between the ages of 6 and 17.
If signed by Gov. Deval Patrick, it would allow children to receive help in a timely manner, require schools to implement truancy prevention programs and aim to keep cases out of the juvenile court, where they are often handled.
But while supporters say it will help children, school groups have expressed concerns over program funding for some of the bill's provisions.