Family Reconciliation Act (RCW 13.32A)
In 1995, the Washington State Legislature passed the Family Reconciliation
Act, also known as the BECCA Bill, which recognizes a need for services
and assistance for parents/children who are in conflict. These conflicts
are manifested by children who exhibit various behaviors including running
away, substance abuse, serious acting out problems, mental health needs,
and other behaviors that endanger themselves or others.
The intent of the legislature was to give tools to
parents, courts, and law enforcement to keep families together and reunite
them whenever possible. The legislature further intended to increase the
safety of children through the preservation of families and the provision
of assessment, treatment, and placement services for children in need of
services (CHINS) and at-risk youth (ARY).
The role of the Kitsap County Juvenile Department in CHINS and ARY matters
is to facilitate the court process. The assigned court services officer
refers parents to the Department of Children and Family Services, Family
Reconciliation Services (FRS), for a family assessment, assists parents or
juveniles in filing the petition, files the necessary paperwork and
attends all court hearings.
If a CHINS or ARY petition is granted by the court, an
order will be entered requiring the child to reside in the home of their
parent or in a placement approved by DCFS, such as foster care. Other
services, including treatment, are ordered as deemed necessary by the