Truancy / At-Risk Youth / Child in Need of Services
Update from Family and Juvenile Court regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Activities
Please continue to check this website for updates about the court response to COVID-19. Because this is an evolving situation, the guidance below may change.
- Truancy hearings pursuant to RCW 28A.225.035 are suspended, subject to school closures.
- At-Risk Youth/Children in Need of Services hearings pursuant to RCW 13.32A.160, .194, .196, .198 are suspended unless child safety is paramount.
New Truancy Program:
The King County Education Reengagement Team, which includes our Superior Court Truancy staff, has developed a program partnership called the Community Attendance Support Team (CAST.) This team will promote school attendance and prevent school dropouts by intervening and identifying barriers to school attendance. They will provide recommendations and support to address those barriers in a holistic and intentional way involving community partners. This early-intervention program is also designed to curb the need for the youth to have a Truancy petition before the court. Please see the CAST flyer and Cast Referral documents for more information or contact our Truancy office at TRUANCY@kingcounty.gov.
March 20, 2020
In 1993, a 13-year-old runaway named Rebecca Hedman ("Becca") was murdered in Spokane, Washington, far from her home in Tacoma. A group of parents and legislators came together and successfully pushed for legislation (passed in 1995) that was designed to prevent situations like Becca's from happening again. The so-called "Becca Bill" addresses several areas of public policy, including those affecting truant, at-risk, and runaway youth.
King County Superior Court operates and manages three programs -- Truancy, At-Risk Youth, and Child in Need of Services -- as part of its obligation to provide court services under the Becca Bill. These programs are designed to support families and school districts and to help them meet their statutory and court-ordered obligations when filing Becca petitions.
Please visit the following program webpages for more information:
The King County Department of Public Defense appoints attorneys to children involved in Becca cases -- at-risk youth, CHINS or truancy petitions. Parents involved in CHINS cases may receive a public defender but must screen to see if they’re eligible. Go here to learn more about public defense services in Becca cases. Or call (206) 477-9727 to see if you qualify for a public defender