1995 Washington Legislature enacted E2SSB 5439 to revise the laws governing
At-Risk Youth, runaways, crisis residential centers, mental health, and
substance abuse treatment for juveniles.
The intent of the law is to give tools to parents, courts, and law
enforcement to keep families together whenever possible.
chronic runaways, whose behavior puts them in danger of harming themselves or
others, secure facilities must be provided to allow opportunities for
assessment, treatment, and to assist parents and protect children.
Secure and semi-secure crisis residential centers will be designated
for temporary placements of runaway children.
The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) will establish
contracts with private vendors to provide crisis residential placements.
legal definition of Child in Need of Services (CHINS) means an unemancipated
child under age 18 who:
beyond parental control such that his/her behavior endangers the health,
safety, or welfare of the child or other person; or
been reported to law enforcement as absent without consent for more then 24
consecutive hours or reported as absent from a Court ordered placement on
two or more occasions and has a serious substance abuse problem or
has exhibited behaviors that create a serious risk of harm to the child or
in need of necessary services, lacks access, or has declined to use the
services, and whose parents have made unsuccessful efforts to
maintain the family structure or whose parents are unwilling or unable to
continue efforts to maintain the family structure.
CHINS petition may be filed by the child, the child's parent(s), or the
Department of Social and Health Services.
verification that a family assessment has been requested and upon filing a
properly completed and presented CHINS petition, the Fact Finding hearing on
the petition shall be held within ten calendar days, unless the child is
residing in an out-of-home placement, then the Fact Finding hearing shall be
scheduled within five calendar days. The
Court must: (a) enter an order for out of home placement of the child; (b)
approve an At-Risk Youth petition filed by the child's parents; (c) dismiss
the CHINS petition; or (d) order DSHS to review the case to determine whether
a dependency petition should be filed.
Dispositional hearing must be held within 14 days after a temporary placement
order is entered. After the
hearing, the Court may: (a) reunite the family and dismiss the petition; (b)
approve an At-Risk Youth petition filed by the parents; (c) approve a
voluntary out of home placement of the child, requested by the parents; (d)
order any other conditions as specified in RCW 13.32.A.196:
in a substance abuse or mental health outpatient treatment program.
on a regular basis, to the department or any other designated person or
other condition the Court deems an appropriate condition of supervision
including, but not limited to: employment,
participation in an anger management program, and refraining from using
alcohol or drugs.
parent shall cooperate with the Court ordered plan and shall be financially
responsible for costs related to the court ordered plan.
Court must review the case within three months after entry of a 90-day
placement order. The Court shall
continue or discontinue court supervision and placement of the child.
Out of home placement may not be continued past 180 days after the
three month review hearing.
parent may request dismissal of a parent requested voluntary out of home
placement at any time and upon such a request, the Court shall dismiss the
matter and cease court supervision of the child unless a contempt action and
subsequent order is pending or if another petition is pending in the case.
by any party, including the child and the parent, to comply with a court order
entered in a CHINS proceeding, is contempt of court. The court may impose a fine of up to $100.00 and confinement
for up to seven days, or both. A
motion for contempt may be made by a parent, a child, juvenile court
personnel, or by any public agency, organization, or person having custody of
the child under a court order.
the Court finds probable cause, based upon consideration of a motion for
contempt, that a child has violated a placement order entered under this
chapter, the Court may issue an order directing law enforcement to pick up and
take the child to detention. The
order may be entered ex-parte without prior notice to the child or to other
parties. Following the child's
admission to detention, a detention review hearing must be held in accordance
with RCW 13.32A.065.
further information, contact one of the following agencies:
- Thurston County Juvenile Court,
(360) 709-3131, TDD (360) 754-2933.
- Department of Social and
Health Services, Family Reconciliation Services, (360)