legislature enacted the at-risk youth bill to preserve, strengthen, and
reconcile families experiencing problems with youth who are at-risk in the
purpose of this legislation is to provide parents a process in which they can
request and receive assistance subject to the availability of Juvenile Court
services and resources. Recognizing
that the services and resources are limited, the legislature intends that
counties have the authority to impose reasonable limits on the utilization of
Juvenile Court services and resources in matters related to at-risk youth.
County Juvenile Court will review and file appropriate at-risk youth petitions
after the parent can verify that alternatives to Court intervention have been
legal definition of "at-risk" youth means an individual under the
chronological age of 18 years who:
absent from home for at least seventy-two (72) consecutive hours without the
consent of his/her parent;
beyond the control of his/her parent such that the child's behavior
endangers the health, safety, or welfare of the child or any other person; or
a substance abuse problem for which there are no pending criminal charges
related to the substance abuse.
County Juvenile Court Probation Staff will review the documents and, when
appropriate, file the petition and schedule the case on the court calendar for
a Fact Finding hearing within ten calendar days.
If the child is in a Crisis Residential Center or in out-of-home
placement, this hearing shall be scheduled within five calendar days.
Probation staff shall notify the parent and child of such date, notify
the parent of the right to be represented by counsel at parents' own expense,
appoint legal counsel for the child, inform the parent and child of the legal
consequences of the court finding the child to be an at-risk youth, and notify
the parent and child of their rights to present evidence at the Fact Finding
hearing. A Disposition hearing
shall be held immediately following the Fact Finding hearing, or within 14
Court may grant the petition and enter an order finding the child to be an
at-risk youth if the allegations in the petition are established by a
preponderance of the evidence. The
Court shall not enter such an order, if the Court has approved a Child in Need
of Services petition regarding the child, or if the child is the subject of a
dependency proceeding under Chapter 13.34 RCW.
Court may order conditions of supervision of the child that include:
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 anger management program, and refraining from using alcohol
Court may order the parent to participate in counseling services or any other
services for the child requiring parental participation.
parent shall cooperate with the Court ordered plan and shall be financially
responsible for costs related to the court ordered plan.
Court shall schedule the matter on the calendar for review within three
months. The Court shall approve
or disapprove of the continuation of Court supervision. Court supervision of a child may not continue past one
hundred eighty (180) days from the day the review hearing commenced unless the
Court finds, and the parent agrees, that there are compelling reasons for an
extension of supervision. Any
extension granted shall not exceed ninety (90) days.
parent may request dismissal of an at-risk youth proceeding at any time and
upon such request, the Court shall dismiss the matter and cease Court
supervision of the child unless a contempt action is pending in the case.
all at-risk youth proceedings, the Court shall verbally notify the parents and
the child of the possibility of a finding of contempt for failure to comply
with the terms of the court order. The
Court shall treat the parents and the child equally for the purposes of
applying contempt of court processes and penalties under this section.
by a party to comply with an order, is a Contempt of Court.
The Court may impose a fine of up to $100.00 and confinement for up to
seven (7) days, or both, for contempt of court.
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 pursuant to at-risk youth legislation.
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, Call Thurston County Juvenile Court at (360) 709-3131,
TDD (360) 754-2933.