These documents are currently being revised to incorporate the changes made during the 2024 Legislative Session. Please consult the Sections Affected Table for changes made during the 2024 Legislative Session.

13.34.025  <<  13.34.030 >>   13.34.035


*** CHANGE IN 2024 *** (SEE 6109-S2.SL) ***
*** CHANGE IN 2024 *** (SEE 6006-S2.SL) ***
*** CHANGE IN 2024 *** (SEE 5908-S2.SL) ***
The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Abandoned" means when the child's parent, guardian, or other custodian has expressed, either by statement or conduct, an intent to forego, for an extended period, parental rights or responsibilities despite an ability to exercise such rights and responsibilities. If the court finds that the petitioner has exercised due diligence in attempting to locate the parent, no contact between the child and the child's parent, guardian, or other custodian for a period of three months creates a rebuttable presumption of abandonment, even if there is no expressed intent to abandon.
(2) "Child," "juvenile," and "youth" mean:
(a) Any individual under the age of eighteen years; or
(b) Any individual age eighteen to twenty-one years who is eligible to receive and who elects to receive the extended foster care services authorized under RCW 74.13.031. A youth who remains dependent and who receives extended foster care services under RCW 74.13.031 shall not be considered a "child" under any other statute or for any other purpose.
(3) "Current placement episode" means the period of time that begins with the most recent date that the child was removed from the home of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian for purposes of placement in out-of-home care and continues until: (a) The child returns home; (b) an adoption decree, a permanent custody order, or guardianship order is entered; or (c) the dependency is dismissed, whichever occurs first.
(4) "Department" means the department of children, youth, and families.
(5) "Dependency guardian" means the person, nonprofit corporation, or Indian tribe appointed by the court pursuant to this chapter for the limited purpose of assisting the court in the supervision of the dependency.
(6) "Dependent child" means any child who:
(a) Has been abandoned;
(b) Is abused or neglected as defined in chapter 26.44 RCW by a person legally responsible for the care of the child;
(c) Has no parent, guardian, or custodian capable of adequately caring for the child, such that the child is in circumstances which constitute a danger of substantial damage to the child's psychological or physical development; or
(d) Is receiving extended foster care services, as authorized by RCW 74.13.031.
(7) "Developmental disability" means a disability attributable to intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or another neurological or other condition of an individual found by the secretary of the department of social and health services to be closely related to an intellectual disability or to require treatment similar to that required for individuals with intellectual disabilities, which disability originates before the individual attains age eighteen, which has continued or can be expected to continue indefinitely, and which constitutes a substantial limitation to the individual.
(8) "Educational liaison" means a person who has been appointed by the court to fulfill responsibilities outlined in RCW 13.34.046.
(9) "Experiencing homelessness" means lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including circumstances such as sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, fleeing domestic violence, or a similar reason as described in the federal McKinney-Vento homeless assistance act (Title 42 U.S.C., chapter 119, subchapter I) as it existed on January 1, 2021.
(10) "Extended foster care services" means residential and other support services the department is authorized to provide under RCW 74.13.031. These services may include placement in licensed, relative, or otherwise approved care, or supervised independent living settings; assistance in meeting basic needs; independent living services; medical assistance; and counseling or treatment.
(11) "Guardian" means the person or agency that: (a) Has been appointed as the guardian of a child in a legal proceeding, including a guardian appointed pursuant to chapter 13.36 RCW; and (b) has the legal right to custody of the child pursuant to such appointment. The term "guardian" does not include a "dependency guardian" appointed pursuant to a proceeding under this chapter.
(12) "Guardian ad litem" means a person, appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child in a proceeding under this chapter, or in any matter which may be consolidated with a proceeding under this chapter. A "court-appointed special advocate" appointed by the court to be the guardian ad litem for the child, or to perform substantially the same duties and functions as a guardian ad litem, shall be deemed to be guardian ad litem for all purposes and uses of this chapter.
(13) "Guardian ad litem program" means a court-authorized volunteer program, which is or may be established by the superior court of the county in which such proceeding is filed, to manage all aspects of volunteer guardian ad litem representation for children alleged or found to be dependent. Such management shall include but is not limited to: Recruitment, screening, training, supervision, assignment, and discharge of volunteers.
(14) "Guardianship" means a guardianship pursuant to chapter 13.36 RCW or a limited guardianship of a minor pursuant to RCW 11.130.215 or equivalent laws of another state or a federally recognized Indian tribe.
(15) "Housing assistance" means appropriate referrals by the department or other agencies to federal, state, local, or private agencies or organizations, assistance with forms, applications, or financial subsidies or other monetary assistance for housing. For purposes of this chapter, "housing assistance" is not a remedial service or family reunification service as described in RCW 13.34.025(2).
(16) "Indigent" means a person who, at any stage of a court proceeding, is:
(a) Receiving one of the following types of public assistance: Temporary assistance for needy families, aged, blind, or disabled assistance benefits, medical care services under RCW 74.09.035, pregnant women assistance benefits, poverty-related veterans' benefits, food stamps or food stamp benefits transferred electronically, refugee resettlement benefits, medicaid, or supplemental security income; or
(b) Involuntarily committed to a public mental health facility; or
(c) Receiving an annual income, after taxes, of one hundred twenty-five percent or less of the federally established poverty level; or
(d) Unable to pay the anticipated cost of counsel for the matter before the court because his or her available funds are insufficient to pay any amount for the retention of counsel.
(17) "Nonminor dependent" means any individual age eighteen to twenty-one years who is participating in extended foster care services authorized under RCW 74.13.031.
(18) "Out-of-home care" means placement in a foster family home or group care facility licensed pursuant to chapter 74.15 RCW or placement in a home, other than that of the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian, not required to be licensed pursuant to chapter 74.15 RCW.
(19) "Parent" means the biological or adoptive parents of a child, or an individual who has established a parent-child relationship under RCW 26.26A.100, unless the legal rights of that person have been terminated by a judicial proceeding pursuant to this chapter, chapter 26.33 RCW, or the equivalent laws of another state or a federally recognized Indian tribe.
(20) "Prevention and family services and programs" means specific mental health prevention and treatment services, substance abuse prevention and treatment services, and in-home parent skill-based programs that qualify for federal funding under the federal family first prevention services act, P.L. 115-123. For purposes of this chapter, prevention and family services and programs are not remedial services or family reunification services as described in RCW 13.34.025(2).
(21) "Prevention services" means preservation services, as defined in chapter 74.14C RCW, and other reasonably available services, including housing assistance, capable of preventing the need for out-of-home placement while protecting the child. Prevention services include, but are not limited to, prevention and family services and programs as defined in this section.
(22) "Qualified residential treatment program" means a program that meets the requirements provided in RCW 13.34.420, qualifies for funding under the family first prevention services act under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 672(k), and, if located within Washington state, is licensed as a group care facility under chapter 74.15 RCW.
(23) "Relative" includes persons related to a child in the following ways:
(a) Any 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) 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), (b), or (c) of this subsection, even after the marriage is terminated;
(e) Relatives, as named in (a), (b), (c), or (d) of this subsection, of any half sibling of the child; or
(f) Extended family members, as defined by the law or custom of the Indian child's tribe or, in the absence of such law or custom, a person who has reached the age of eighteen and who is the Indian child's grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, niece or nephew, first or second cousin, or stepparent who provides care in the family abode on a twenty-four hour basis to an Indian child as defined in 25 U.S.C. Sec. 1903(4).
(24) "Shelter care" means temporary physical care in a facility licensed pursuant to RCW 74.15.030 or in a home not required to be licensed pursuant to RCW 74.15.030.
(25) "Sibling" means a child's birth brother, birth sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, half-brother, or half-sister, or as defined by the law or custom of the Indian child's tribe for an Indian child as defined in RCW 13.38.040.
(26) "Social study" means a written evaluation of matters relevant to the disposition of the case that contains the information required by RCW 13.34.430.
(27) "Supervised independent living" includes, but is not limited to, apartment living, room and board arrangements, college or university dormitories, and shared roommate settings. Supervised independent living settings must be approved by the department or the court.
(28) "Voluntary placement agreement" means, for the purposes of extended foster care services, a written voluntary agreement between a nonminor dependent who agrees to submit to the care and authority of the department for the purposes of participating in the extended foster care program.


Reviser's note: (1) The definitions in this section have been alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k).
(2) This section was amended by 2021 c 67 § 2 and by 2021 c 304 § 1, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).
Effective date2020 c 312: See note following RCW 11.130.915.
Effective date2018 c 284 §§ 3, 8, 13, 20, 33, 36, and 67: "Sections 3, 8, 13, 20, 33, 36, and 66 [67] of this act take effect July 1, 2018." [ 2018 c 284 § 70.]
Expiration date2018 c 284 §§ 2, 7, 12, 19, 32, 35, and 66: "Sections 2, 7, 12, 19, 32, 35, and 65 [66] of this act expire July 1, 2018." [ 2018 c 284 § 71.]
Effective date2018 c 58: See note following RCW 28A.655.080.
Effective date2017 3rd sp.s. c 6 §§ 102, 104-115, 201-227, 301-337, 401-419, 501-513, 801-803, and 805-822: See note following RCW 43.216.025.
Conflict with federal requirements2017 3rd sp.s. c 6: See RCW 43.216.908.
FindingsRecommendationsApplication2013 c 332: See notes following RCW 13.34.267.
Findings2013 c 182: "The legislature believes that youth residing in foster care are capable of achieving success in school with appropriate support. Youth residing in foster care in Washington state lag behind their nonfoster youth peers in educational outcomes. Reasonable efforts by the department of social and health services to monitor educational outcomes and encourage academic achievement for youth in out-of-home care should be a responsibility of the child welfare system. When a youth is removed from his or her school district, it is the expectation of the legislature that the department of social and health services recognizes [recognize] the impact this move may have on a youth's academic success and provide the youth with necessary supports to be successful in school. The legislature believes that active oversight and advocacy by an educational liaison and collaborations will encourage youth to reach their fullest academic potential." [ 2013 c 182 § 1.]
FindingsIntent2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See RCW 74.62.005.
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 36: See note following RCW 74.62.005.
Intent2011 c 330: See note following RCW 13.04.011.
FindingsIntentShort titleEffective date2010 1st sp.s. c 8: See notes following RCW 74.04.225.
Purpose2010 c 94: See note following RCW 44.04.280.
Intent2003 c 227: See note following RCW 13.34.130.
Intent2002 c 52: See note following RCW 13.34.025.
FindingsIntentSeverability1999 c 267: See notes following RCW 43.20A.790.
Conflict with federal requirements1993 c 241: "If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements that are a prescribed condition to the allocation of federal funds to the state, the conflicting part of this act is inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict and with respect to the agencies directly affected, and this finding does not affect the operation of the remainder of this act in its application to the agencies concerned. The rules under this act shall meet federal requirements that are a necessary condition to the receipt of federal funds by the state." [ 1993 c 241 § 5.]
Legislative finding1983 c 311: "The legislature finds that in order for the state to receive federal funds for family foster care under Title IV-B and Title IV-E of the social security act, all children in family foster care must be subjected to periodic court review. Unfortunately, this includes children who are developmentally disabled and who are placed in family foster care solely because their parents have determined that the children's service needs require out-of-home placement. Except for providing such needed services, the parents of these children are completely competent to care for the children. The legislature intends by this act to minimize the embarrassment and inconvenience of developmentally disabled persons and their families caused by complying with these federal requirements." [ 1983 c 311 § 1.]
Severability1982 c 129: See note following RCW 9A.04.080.
Effective dateSeverability1979 c 155: See notes following RCW 13.04.011.
Effective datesSeverability1977 ex.s. c 291: See notes following RCW 13.04.005.
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