You Should Know:
- No one has the right to abuse you.
- You don’t deserve to be abused.
- If you are being abused, you are a victim.
- It’s not your fault that you are being treated this way.
- It is wrong that you are suffering this pain, fear or sadness.
- You are not alone. Other kids suffer abuse, too.
- Sometimes abusers scare or threaten kids so they won’t tell.
- There are people who care about you and want to help you.
“CHINS” Petition (Child In Need Of Services)
To download a CHINS petition, click here.
If you are thinking of leaving your home, you have access to a helpful tool called a CHINS Petition. Filing this petition could help you to stay legal, get help and maintain stability outside of your parent’s or guardian’s home.
With the help of Y.E.S., you can file a CHINS petition in the County Juvenile Court and ask the courts to help you gain access to free services as well as to reunify with your family or guardian, if that’s appropriate. Or you can ask for placement outside your home, rather than running away and becoming vulnerable on the streets.
A CHINS petition (Washington Law, RCW 13.32A.160(1), can allow you to legally leave your home without running away, couch surfing, hiding or being tempted to commit a crime to feed and care for yourself. When a CHINS Petition is granted, the Judge orders that the family receive services at no cost, with the hope of reuniting peacefully. Also, when a CHINS petition is granted, you can receive housing, food vouchers, educational services, counseling, and so forth. Once the CHINS is granted, the family reports back to the courts on their successes or continued needs, every 30 days or 6 months.
This tool can help you grow in life skills and accountability, while you receive services and report back to court for continued support.
Also, Washington State now has a new law that allows Youth over 13 to file a “No Contact Order” against anyone who is causing them harm. Courts have granted several of these orders to keep the parent or guardian from taking the youth and harming them, or to prevent bullying, stalking and harassment of the youth at school or elsewhere.
We know some youth may be leery of the courts, it’s a new experience and can be intimidating, but you don’t ever have to go alone. You can be represented by a free, court appointed attorney, and Judi Lee from Youth Emergency Services (Y.E.S.) and sometimes a state social worker will go with you to the court. Judi can help you get used to the court room prior to the court date and she can educate you on court room etiquette (how to dress, how to speak, where to sit) ahead of time.
And, if you have any prior history with the Juvenile Court, some judges can be sympathetic to your situation. A plan to help you and your family can be worked on with the help of Y.E.S. with the Court’s approval and direction.
A Child’s Bill of Rights
Children’s Bill of Rights
Child’s Bill of Rights
The Children’s Bill of Rights