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The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Department" means the department of children, youth, and families.
(2) "Guardian" means a person who has been appointed by the court as the guardian of a vulnerable youth in a legal proceeding under this chapter. The term "guardian" does not include a "dependency guardian" appointed pursuant to a proceeding under chapter 13.34 RCW for the purpose of assisting the court in supervising the dependency. The term "guardian" does not include a "guardian" appointed pursuant to a proceeding under chapter 13.36 RCW or a "dependency guardian" appointed pursuant to a proceeding under chapter 13.34 RCW.
(3) "Juvenile court" or "court" means the juvenile division of the superior court.
(4) "Relative" means a person related to the child in the following ways:
(a) Any parent, or blood relative, including those of half-blood, and including first cousins, second cousins, nephews or nieces, and persons of preceding generations as denoted by prefixes of grand, great, or great-great;
(b) A stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, and stepsister;
(c) A person who legally adopts a child or the child's parent as well as the natural and other legally adopted children of such persons, and other relatives of the adoptive parents in accordance with state law;
(d) Spouses of any persons named in (a) through (c) of this subsection (4), even after the marriage is terminated;
(e) Relatives, as described in (a) through (d) of this subsection (4), of any half-sibling of the child.
(5)(a) "Suitable person" means a nonrelative who has completed all required criminal history background checks as specified in (b) of this subsection and otherwise appears to be suitable and competent to provide care for the youth.
(b) The criminal background checks required in (a) of this subsection are those set out in *RCW 26.10.135 (1) and (2)(b), but apply only to the guardian and not to other adult members of the household.
(6) "Vulnerable youth" is an individual who has turned eighteen years old, but who is not yet twenty-one years old and who is eligible for classification under 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1101(a)(27)(J). A youth who remains in a vulnerable youth guardianship under this chapter shall not be considered a "child" under any other state statute or for any other purpose. A vulnerable youth is one who is not also a nonminor dependent who is participating in extended foster care services authorized under RCW 74.13.031.


*Reviser's note: Chapter 26.10 RCW was repealed in its entirety by 2019 c 437 § 801, effective January 1, 2021.
Effective date2018 c 58: See note following RCW 28A.655.080.
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