Family Intervention and Restorative Services
Family Intervention and Restorative Services (FIRS) offers youth arrested for family violence incidents space at an overnight respite center instead of secure detention. FIRS staff offer de-escalation counseling to safely reunite youth with their family. At no cost to them, families are offered in-home family counseling, mental health services, drug and alcohol services, and the Step-Up Program, which specifically addresses adolescent family violence.
Before FIRS began in January 2016, youth and families had to go through the formal court process before they could access services such as the Step-Up Program. Now families engage with the FIRS team immediately and receive services within days of the incident that brought them to court. Historically, juvenile domestic violence had constituted a third of juvenile detention bookings. Youth were booked into detention for domestic violence more often than any other offense and, in nearly 90 percent of these cases, the violence was against a family member.
Inspired by a similar program in Pima County, Arizona, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (PAO) Juvenile Unit Chair Jimmy Hung and PAO Legal Services Manager Stephanie Trollen spearheaded efforts to change legislation and team up with partners that made the program possible.
FIRS is now a partnership between the King County PAO, King County Superior Court, the Department of Public Defense, the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, the Department of Judicial Administration, the Prosecuting Attorney, and the City of Seattle.