BECCA (Juvenile Non-Offender) Information
The Becca Bill (BECCA)
The Becca Bill (PDF), passed by state legislature in 1995, was designed for parents to gain assistance from the courts to support their at-risk teenagers.
The youth involved are often using or abusing substances, chronically run from the home, present mental health concerns, or are involved in other activities which directly endanger themselves or others. Parents, children, courts, law enforcement, and DCFS can use this legislation to respond to family conflicts and assist families in crisis management and reconciliation.
The BECCA Law (PDF) is designed to empower parents to help their children.
Becca Bill Petitions
The Becca Bill consists of three petitions:
- At Risk Youth (ARY)
- Child in Need of Services (CHINS)
- Truancy (TRU)
At Risk Youth (ARY)
Through this process parents may petition the courts for assistance with their teen while the teen resides in their home. Court orders mandate the youth attend school, remain at home, abstain from all drug/alcohol use, follow a curfew, and potentially a list of other case by case directives.
For a child to meet the requirements of an ARY petition they must meet at least one of three criteria:
- An individual who is under 18 and remains absent from the home for a period of more than 72 hours without parental consent
- Is beyond parental control such that behavior endangers the health, safety or welfare of the child or another person
- Has a serious substance abuse problem
Child in Need of Services (CHINS)
The purpose of a CHINS petition is to temporarily place a child outside of the home in an attempt to repair family relationships and ensure child safety. This temporary placement is only able to last nine months and the petitioning party must provide a placement. CHINS petitions can be filed by a parent, youth, or DSHS. Under a CHINS petition, the parent and the child are required to attend counseling which includes family and individual counseling. Visitation between the parents and child occurs, along with a host of other possible services, to seek family reconciliation at the end of the nine month period.
For questions about ARY or CHINS, please contact the Becca Bill Facilitator or call 509-477-2459.
These petitions are typically filed by school officials and schools are mandated to file if a youth had seven unexcused absences in a month or ten in one year. These petitions require the youth to attend school every day, every period, on time and can also hold the parent responsible for chronic truancy.
For questions about Truancy please call the Truancy Prosecuting Paralegal at 509-477-2815.
|Becca Bill Facilitator
|Truancy Prosecuting Paralegal