At-Risk Youth/Child in Need of Services

An At-Risk Youth (ARY) petition is a request from a child's parent or legal guardian to the Juvenile Court to assist the parent in maintaining the health and safety of their youth or the youth they are legally responsible for. ARY petitions can be filed for youth who are under the age of 18 and at least one of the following:

  • Absent from home for at least 72 consecutive hours without parental consent
  • Beyond parental control to the extent that his/her behavior threatens the health, safety or welfare of the child or any other person
  • Has a substance abuse problem for which there are no pending criminal charges related to the substance abuse; and
  • The petitioner has the right to legal custody

The first step in the ARY process involves the petitioner (parent or legal guardian) *contacting Family Reconciliation Services (FRS) to request a Family Assessment.  The Family Assessment is a REQUIRED step in the ARY process and will be completed within 48 business hours (Monday-Friday) of contact being made with FRS. Please call FRS at (888) 713-6115 and press #1 to request a Family Assessment. 

*If a Family Law parenting plan or custody order exists, the parent or custodian appointed by the court must file a copy with the petition.

Child in Need of Services (CHINS)


The purpose of a Child in Need of Services (CHINS) petition is to obtain a court order mandating placement of a child in a residence other than the home of his/her parent because a serious conflict exists between the parent and child. The placement is temporary, and the goal of CHINS is reunification of the family.

This action is taken when the conflict in the home cannot be resolved and reasonable efforts have been made to prevent removal of the child from the parental home.

CHINS petitions may be filed by a child under 18, parent/legal guardian, or the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

The petitioner MUST have had contact with Family Reconciliation Services (FRS) and be able to provide a Family Assessment verification with the Child in Need of Services petition. Please call FRS at (253) 983-6100 or 1-800-422-7517. If you are calling after 4:30pm on a weekend or holiday, call 1-800-562-5624.