Child in Need of Services – C.H.I.N.S

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Unfortunately, some children have a difficult time making their way through childhood. Parents may find that it has become difficult, if not impossible, to exert any influence or control over their child’s behavior. Parents may also feel that without some sort of outside help, their child’s behavior may result in permanent damage to the child’s future. In these types of circumstances, parents may turn to the Court system for aid through use of a C.H.I.N.S petition or other Massachusetts child custody action.

A C.H.I.N.S petition may be brought by the child’s parents or guardian, a police officer, or supervisor of school attendance under four possible grounds:

  • Runaway – this petition may be brought against a child under age of 17 who persistently runs away from the home of his/her parent or guardian;
  • Stubborn child – this petition may be brought against a child under the age of 17 who refuses to obey his parents’ or guardian’s reasonable rules to the point where the parents are unable to provide care or protection for the child;
  • Truancy – this petition may be brought against a child under the age of 17 who fails to attend school; and
  • Persistent School Offender – this petition may be brought against a child under the age of 16 who persistently breaks the school’s legal and reasonable regulations.

A C.H.I.N.S case evaluates a child’s particular issues to determine necessary services including medical, psychiatric, or drug counseling. The court may also find that it is in the child’s best interest that she/he remain in the parental home, be placed with another family member or adult, or be placed under the care of the Department of Children and Families.

Attorneys at Kerstein, Coren & Lichtenstein are well equipped to represent either the parent or child throughout the C.H.I.N.S petition proceedings. We have experience in determining how to best access available services for the child and how to protect the individual rights of either the child or parent(s).

If a Massachusetts child custody dilemma has made things difficult for a child, it may be necessary to proceed with a C.H.I.N.S petition. Contact our office to learn more information about C.H.I.N.S.