Truancy / At-Risk Youth / Child in Need of Services
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 which are under court’s jurisdiction and are in the contempt stage. 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.
New Truancy Program: Community Attendance Support Team (CAST)
The King County Community Attendance Support Team (CAST) is a county-level Community Engagement Board, facilitated by the King County Superior Court Becca Program. The CAST aims to promote school attendance and prevent school drop out by facilitating meetings between students, families, schools, and community agencies to identify barriers to school attendance and recommend solutions. Parents and school districts can make a CAST referral after a student has accumulated unexcused absences from school as a step to try to prevent a truancy petition from being filed. The CAST is available to any student with a truancy petition in King County. Please see the CAST flyer and Cast Referral (for parents and students) and CAST District Referral documents for more information. To make a referral or talk with the CAST Coordinator, contact Jennie Tibbitts, Program Facilitator, 206-263-8886 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected.
- For more information on the CAST process visit https://kingcountyattendance.org/cast
- For information on the King County Attendance Workshops visit https://kingcountyattendance.org/education-reengagement-workshops
- For more information about truancy petitions and attendance information visit https://kingcountyattendance.org/about-us