Michael Bates, Director
Walla Walla/Columbia County
At Risk Youth Program
A child’s parent may file with the juvenile court in a petition in the interest of a child alleged to be an at-risk-youth. The petition shall set forth the name, age, residence of the child and the names and residence(s) of the child’s parents and shall allege that:
- The child is an at-risk youth defined as a person under 18 years of age who:
- Is absent fro the home at least 72 consecutive hours without parental consent.
- Is beyond parental control such that the child endangers the health, safety, or welfare of the child or any other person.
- Has a substance abuse problem for which there are no pending criminal charges related to substance abuse
- The petitioner has the right to legal custody of the child.
- Court intervention and supervision are necessary to assist the parent to maintain the care, custody, and control of the child.
- Alternatives to court intervention have been attempted or there is good cause why such alternatives have not been attempted.
Except as otherwise provided, the juvenile court shall not accept the filing of an at-risk youth petition by the parent, unless verification is provided that a family assessment has been completed by the DSHS. If the department is unable to complete an assessment within two working days following a request for the assessment, the child or parents may proceed to file an at-risk youth petition.
When a proper at-risk youth petition is filed by a child parent, the juvenile court shall:
- Schedule a fact-finding hearing; if the at-risk youth petition is established, the matter goes on to disposition.
At the dispositional hearing regarding an adjudicated at-risk youth the court:
- Shall consider the recommendations of the parties and the recommendations of any dispositional plan submitted by DSHS.
- May enter a dispositional order that will assist the parent in maintaining the care, custody, and control of the child and assist the family to resolve family conflicts or problems.
- May set conditions of supervision for the child that include:
- Regular school attendance
- Participation in a substance abuse or mental heath outpatient treatment program
- Reporting on a regular basis to the department or any other designated person or agency
- May order the parent to participate in counseling services to any other services for the child requiring parental participation.
- May order the department to monitor compliance with the dispositional order, assist in coordinating the provision of court ordered services, and submit reports ar subsequent review hearings regarding the status of the case.
- Shall not include in the order or condition of supervision, involuntary commitment of a child for substance abuse or mental health treatment.
2. A review hearing is held 30 days after disposition. if the child is found to be in contempt for violation of the court order established at disposition, s/he may receive detention time. If the child is placed in a juvenile detention facility, a review hearing shall be held with in twenty four hours.
3. The petition expires 9 months after the 30-day review; however, a motion for dismissal may be filed at any point. The parent mat request dismissal of an at-risk youth proceeding or out-of-home placement at any time upon such a request, the court shall dismiss the matter and cease supervision for the child unless:
- A contempt action is pending in the case
- A petition has been filed and a hearing has not yet been held, or
- An order has been entered and the court retains jurisdiction under that subsection.
Court supervision of the child may not be continued past one hundred eighty days form the day the review hearing commenced unless the court finds, and the parent agrees, that there are compelling reasons for an extension of the supervision. Any extension shall not exceed ninety days.