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It allows the police, if they find the youth, to tell the parents where he is, but only if doing so would not jeopardize the youth physically or emotionally.

The law gives the police several options for handling a runaway youth they locate.

But it requires, rather than allows, the police to try to locate such youths when a parent or guardian reports them missing.

And, if the police locate the youth, the act requires them to tell the parent or guardian where he is; prior law allowed them to do so.

As with the FWSN program, a youth can be referred to the court through a petition by a parent, foster parent, or representative of the child; a selectman, town manager, police officer, or local welfare department; a probation officer; a school superintendent; a youth service bureau; or a child-caring agency licensed or approved by the Department of Children and Families.

The petition must state (1) the youth's name, gender, birth date, and residence; (2) the parents', guardians', or responsible adult's name and residence; (3) the reason for the referral; and (4) the action the petitioner wants the court to take.

It specifically allows a parent to use physical force, which would otherwise constitute a crime, when and to the extent they reasonably believe it necessary to maintain discipline or to promote the child’s welfare.

Until the past few years, parents who had trouble controlling their 16 or 17 year old children received little help or support from the state or state law.

The agency must provide temporary services to the youth unless or until his parents object.

We have summarized this law and the 2003 act in greater detail below.

A 16 or 17 year old who is arrested for a crime is eligible to be represented by a public defender.

The law implicitly requires the chief court administrator to establish policies for determining when a youth is eligible to come under the court's supervision.

When, following these policies, a Juvenile Court judge determines a youth is in crisis, the law allows him to make and enforce orders, including: The law authorizes police to look for a 16- or 17-year old whose parent or guardian reports he has run away.

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