Patrick Signs Law that Aims to Help Troubled Kids

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts youth who routinely skip school, run away from home and find themselves in trouble will soon benefit from a new law that seeks to overhaul the system that handles their cases.

Gov. Deval Patrick signed the legislation into law Tuesday. It will overhaul the state’s Children In Need of Services program, which handles children  between the ages of 6 and 17 who often get into trouble.

It will create a timeframe for children to receive social services under the program, require school districts to implement truancy prevention efforts for students who often miss school and attempt to remove the stigma of the current system by removing the “CHINS” label for these children.

Patrick said the law will “strengthen” Massachusetts communities and families “for generations to come.”

AP-WF-08-07-12 2216GMT