Working to transform the child welfare system.


SB 5147: Relating to juveniles and runaway children

This bill requires that any person, unlicensed youth shelter, or runaway and homeless youth program that provides shelter to a minor without legal authorization and knows that the minor is away from a lawfully prescribed residence or home without parental permission must promptly report (within eight hours after learning that the minor is away from home without permission) the location of the child to the parent, the law enforcement agency of the jurisdiction in which the person lives, or the department.

If this situation occurs at a licensed overnight youth shelter or another licensed organization with a stated mission to provide services to homeless or runaway youth and their families, the organization must contact the youth’s parent within 72 hours (preferably within 24 hours) of the youth’s admittance. The notification must include the location of the youth, his or her physical and emotional condition, and the circumstances surrounding the conduct. If there are compelling reasons not to notify the parents (including the likelihood that such notification will subject the youth to abuse or neglect), the organization will contact the department. In addition, after learning that a youth receiving services or shelter is away from home without permission, organization staff must check the Washington state patrol website at least once every eight hours to see whether the youth is classified as “missing”. If the youth is listed as “missing,” the organization must immediately notify the department of its contact with the youth. This notification must include a description of the youth’s physical and emotional condition and the circumstances surrounding the contact. Reports may be made by telephone or any other reasonable means.

SB 5147 is the companion to HB 1250, sponsored by Representative Orwall.