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Family Intervention and Restorative Services (FIRS)

Learn more about Family Intervention and Restorative Services (FIRS) and the FIRS Center.

Family Intervention and Restorative Services (FIRS) is for youth arrested for violence toward their family members. 

FIRS is a collaborative approach with community and court-based partners. Youth who go through FIRS avoid having a criminal record.

Every family referred is assigned a team of a social worker and a juvenile probation counselor.

The team works with youth and families to:

  • Assess family violence
  • Create safety plans and agreements that help increase insight and accountability
  • Provide access to free services, including in-home family counseling, drug and alcohol services, mental health services, and the Step-Up program

Instead of detention, youth arrested for family violence are offered space at the FIRS Center. Youth who have contact with police for family violence but are not arrested are also eligible for FIRS. The FIRS team reaches out to these families.


The FIRS Center

The FIRS Center, located at CCFJC in Seattle,  is a short-term respite center for youth arrested and brought to detention for family violence. It is an alternative to detention, staffed 24/7 by a community partner.

Youth often move to the FIRS Center the same day they are brought to detention. 

During their stay at the FIRS Center, youth have a safe space to cool off from the incident that happened. They meet with the FIRS team to talk about the restorative plan to go home safely.

Once they are ready, the youth will return home with a safety plan and future meetings with support from their FIRS team.


FIRS background

Before FIRS,

  • Juvenile domestic violence was a third of juvenile detention bookings
  • Youth were admitted into detention for domestic violence more than any other offense
  • Almost 90 percent of these cases were for violence against a family member
  • Families had to wait to go through the court process to get services, which was frustrating and did not meet the immediate needs of families
  • Youth would have a criminal record if they went through the formal court process

To respond to this, and to help youth and families learn how to stop family violence, we started FIRS as an alternative to detention and court for youth with domestic violence offenses.