At-Risk Youth [ARY]-Child in Need of Services [CHINS]


The BECCA Bill passed by state legislature in 1995, was designed for parents, youth, the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), and schools to get assistance from the courts to 

(1) Preserve, strengthen, and reconcile families experiencing problems with at-risk youth and;

(2) Provide a legal process by which parents who are experiencing problems with at-risk youth can request and receive assistance from juvenile courts in identifying appropriate care, treatment, and supervision to such youth.

The BECCA Bill allows for three types of petitions:

  • At-Risk Youth (ARY) Petition
  • Child in Need of Services (CHINS) Petition
  • Truancy (see separate page)

ARY Petition

Through this process parents may petition the courts for assistance with their teen while the teen resides in their home. Court orders mandate the youth attend school, remain at home, abstain from all drug / alcohol use, follow a curfew, and potentially a list of other case by case directives. 

The legal custodian of the youth must reside in Snohomish County

For a child to meet the requirements of an ARY petition they must meet at least one of three criteria:

  • An individual who is under 18 and remains absent from the home for a period of more than 72 hours without parental consent
  • Is beyond parental control such that behavior endangers the health, safety, or welfare of the child or another person
  • Has a serious substance abuse problem


CHINS Petition

The purpose of a CHINS petition is to temporarily place a child outside of the home in an attempt to repair family relationships and ensure child safety. This temporary placement is only able to last nine months and the petitioning party must provide a placement. CHINS petitions can be filed by a parent, youth, or DCYF. Under a CHINS petition, the parent and the child are required to attend counseling, which includes family and individual counseling. Visitation between the parents and child occurs, along with a host of other possible services, to seek family reconciliation at the end of the nine-month period. The legal guardian of the youth must live in Snohomish County.