27 Kids and the Law Child Requiring Assistance In addition to delinquency actions there are other behaviors which can lead to a child being brought into court. (Sometimes these behaviors are called“status offenses,” due to the child’s status as a minor.) What is a Child Requiring Assistance (CRA)? A CRA is a child between the ages of 6 and 18: 1. who repeatedly runs away from home (CRA Runaway); 2. who repeatedly fails to obey the lawful and reasonable commands of the parent or guardian, and whose behavior results in the parent or guardian not being able to adequately care for and protect the child (CRA Stubborn Child); 3. who repeatedly fails to obey the lawful and reasonable school regulations (CRA Habitual School Offender); 4. who is not excused and willfully fails to attend school for more than 8 school days in a school quarter (CRA Truant); 5. who is sexually exploited (CRA Sexually Exploited Child). The laws regarding CRA matters are found in Massachusetts General Laws chapter 119, Sections 21 and 39E through 39I. Who can start a CRA Action? A parent or guardian can apply for a CRA application alleging that their child requires assistance because the child repeatedly runs away from home (#1 above), or fails to obey the rules of the home (#2 above). A parent, guardian, or police officer can file an application alleging the child is a Sexually Exploited Child (#5 above). Child Requiring Assistance 4 4