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Children In Need of Services (CHINS)

LEWIS COUNTY JUVENILE COURT

HOLLI SPANSKI, Administrator

Shad Hail, Probation Officer, Assigned CHINS

360 NW North, MS:JUV01 Chehalis, WA 98532

CHILDREN IN NEED OF SERVICES LEGISLATION
R.C.W. l3.32A Effective 7/23/95

Child In Need of Services (CHINS) means a juvenile:

1.  Who is beyond the control of his or her parent such that the child’s behavior endangers the health, safety, or welfare of the child or other person;

2. Who has been reported to law enforcement as absent without consent for at least 24 consecutive hours from the parent’s home, a crisis residential center, an out-of-home placement, or a court-ordered placement on two or more separate occasions; and

  • Has exhibited a serious substance abuse problem; or
  • Has exhibited behaviors that create a serious risk of harm to the health, safety, or welfare of the child or any other person;
    or

3. Who is in need of necessary services, including food, shelter, health care, clothing, educational, or services designed to maintain or reunite the family;

  • Who lacks access, or has declined, to utilize these services; and
  • Whose parents have evidenced continuing but unsuccessful efforts to maintain the family structure or are unable or unwilling to continue efforts to maintain the family structure

A Children in Need of Services (CHINS) petition may be filed by: parent, child, or DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services). Anyone wishing to file a petition may contact DCFS at 807-7081 or 1-800-562-6926 and discuss the situation with a case worker and receive a Petition for an Order on Children in Need of Services by going to the DCFS office at 3401 Galvin Road, Centralia.

The petition may be filed with the Juvenile Court at l255 SW Pacific, at the corner of l3th Street and Pacific in Chehalis. After filing the petition in Juvenile Court, a fact finding hearing is scheduled within five days if the child is on the run, or 10 days if the child is living at home or in an out of home placement. The child may be placed in out of home placement by DCFS. The child will be appointed counsel for all hearings. The parents have the right to be represented by counselor and, if indigent, to have counsel appointed for him or her by the court.

At the fact finding DCFS may give a recommendation to the judge. The judge may approve an order stating that the child shall be placed in a residence other than the home of his or her parent only if it is established by a preponderance of evidence that:

  1. The petition is not capricious;
  2. The petitioner, if a child, has made a reasonable effort to resolve the
  3. conflict;
  4. The conflict cannot be resolved by delivery of services to the family
  5. during continued placement of the child in the parental home;
  6. Reasonable efforts have been made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from the child’s home and to make it possible for the child to return home; and
  7. A suitable out-of-home placement resource is available.

Following the fact finding a disposition hearing will be held l4 days after the approval of a temporary out of home placement. The court may enter an order for out-of-home placement for not more than 90 days, at which time there will be a review hearing which may extend the order an additional l80 days.

A motion for contempt may be made by a parent, a child, juvenile court personnel, or by any public agency, organization, or person having custody of the child under a CHINS court order. The court shall treat the parents and the child equally for the purposes of applying contempt of court processes and penalties. The court may impose a fine of up to $l00.00 and confinement for up to 7 days in detention for a juvenile or the jail for the parent or guardian.

(Inf.Handout/CHIN.Inf) 10-16-02