Secure Crisis Residential Center

The "Becca Bill" (named after a runaway youth who was subsequently killed) established secure crisis residential centers for runaway youth. The Becca Bill authorizes law enforcement to pick up runaway youth, or youth found in "dangerous circumstances", and place them in these physically secure, short-term residential facilities. Youth may not remain in a Secure Crisis Residential Center (SCRC) longer than 5 consecutive days. Youth may transfer between a Secure CRC (Crisis Residential Center) and a non-secure, community based CRC, but the total length of stay may not exceed 5 consecutive days. SCRC counselors and staff work with families to resolve the immediate conflict, facilitate a reconciliation between parent and youth, and provide referral to additional services.

In 1995, Clallam County Juvenile and Family Services was awarded grant funding to establish a pilot program for a Secure Crisis Residential Center which is co-located within the detention center. Since that time, the county has continued to offer this unique resource to hundreds of youth, providing safe, secure, temporary shelter and delivering immediate services and referrals for high risk, vulnerable youth. Currently there are only two such facilities in the state.

SCRC's are licenced by the state Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) and are grant funded through the Department of Commerce.

Crisis Residential Center (CRC) Program Description

  • Crisis Residential Centers are short-term, temporary placement options available on a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week basis to runaway youths and youths in serious conflict with parents or guardians.
  • The purpose of a placement into a CRC program is to assess, treat, and assist parents with protecting and stabilizing youths with serious problems. CRCs provide a space for on-site family counseling to address the crisis situation affecting reunification of the youth with the youth's family as soon as possible and to link youths and their families to on-going counseling and/or treatment services.
  • CRC programs focus on the current conflict underlying the youth's placement in the CRC, and, with input from the youth and the youth's family, develop a goal-directed treatment plan to address the presenting problems.

Eligibility for CRC Services

For placement in a CRC, a youth must be age 12 through 17. CRC contracts require that CRCs provide referrals to intervention services to the youth and the youth's family, including family counseling and referrals to community-based resources, in order to prevent out-of-home placement.

Placement in Secure Crisis Residential Centers

RCW 13.32A.050 requires that law enforcement place runaway youths, or youths whom law enforcement determines are in dangerous situations, into a SCRC, if an immediate return to the parent is not possible. The role of DCYF is to simply advise law enforcement of the availability of bed space and open an FRS case. DCYF has no authority to prioritize the case and make an alternative placement, unless there is no SCRC bed available.

The SCRC must report to the statewide DCYF office when law enforcement places a youth at the facility.

Under limited circumstances, RCW 13.32A.130 allows the SCRC administrator to transfer a youth from a semi-secure CRC to a SCRC if the youth is assessed as a high risk to run.

The SCRC contractor must assess all youths placed into the contractor's SCRC every 24 hours, as long as the youths remain in residence, regarding the youths' runaway risk. The SCRC administrator may move youths who cannot return home, but are assessed as a low risk to run, to a less restrictive setting.

Types of CRC Programs

There are three types of CRC facilities: Family CRCs; Semi-secure (also known as Regional or Group) CRCs; and Secure CRCs. Clallam County has one Secure CRC located within the Clallam County Juvenile Detention facility.

Secure CRCs (SCRC) are physically secure facilities operated by private contractors or are co-located within juvenile detention centers. SCRCs have internal locking doors and windows and/or secure perimeter fencing, but must adhere to local Fire Marshall regulations regarding time release mechanisms.

Length of Stay

  • Youths may reside in a CRC of any type for a maximum of five consecutive days. Youths may transfer from one CRC to another, but the combination of length of time in placements must not exceed five consecutive days from the point of intake.
  • Youths admitted to a SCRC must remain a minimum of 24 hours before the youths can be transferred to a less restrictive placement setting, except as listed below.
    • A youth's parent/legal guardian may remove the youth at any time unless law enforcement has placed a protective hold as authorized in Chapter 13.34 RCW, or DCYF or another agency has obtained a shelter care order.
    • DCYF or another agency having custody of the youth may remove the youth after 24 hours if the SCRC assessment indicates the youth is at minimal risk to run.