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Program For Troubled Kids Gets Hearing In Statehouse

State lawmakers heard testimony today on a bill to restore money to the CHINS program, or Children in Need of Services. The program puts troubled kids under the supervision of the courts, and provides counseling and placement in a group home, if needed.

Roughly 1,000 New Hampshire youth each year received services before budget cuts effectively ended the program in 2011.

Representative Laura Pantelakos urged House budget writers to restore funding.

Pantelakos: “ I think this is very important for schools. It is very important for police departments. It’s very important for families.”

The Portsmouth Democrat says she doesn’t know where the $4.1 million dollars necessary to reestablish the program should come from.

While the House may not go looking for the money, Governor Hassan might. She signaled strong support for the program during her campaign, and could include CHINS in her proposed budget, due next month.