Benton & Franklin Counties Superior Court
  Benton & Franklin Counties Superior Court

Child In Need of Services Information

What You Need to Know

The purpose of the Child in Need of Services (CHINS) petition is to obtain a court order mandating family services in order to reunify the youth and parents.  The youth can be temporary placed in a residence other than the home of his/her parent for up to nine months. The need for the placement must be based on a serious conflict between the parent and child that cannot be resolved by delivery of services to the family while the child remains at home.


Sometimes, when conflict has escalated between parents and youth, the best course of action is a temporary separation, in which time the family would engage in counseling or other efforts to resolve conflicts and heal the family bond.


A child, parent, or DSHS may file a CHINS petition. A "parent" is defined as the person(s) having legal right to custody of the child and includes custodian or guardian.


Do I Qualify for Filing a CHINS?

A child in need of services is defined by statute, RCW 13.32A.030(5), as a child under the age of 18 who meets at least one of the following three requirements:


  • Is beyond parental control such that the child's behavior endangers the health, safety, or welfare of the child or other person.
  • Has been reported to law enforcement as absent without consent for at least 24 consecutive hours from the parent's home, a crisis residential center, an out-of-home placement, or a court-ordered placement on two or more separate occasions and
  • has exhibited a serious substance abuse problem; or
  • has exhibited behaviors that create a serious risk of hard to the health, safety, or welfare of the child or any other person
  • Is in need of necessary services, including food, shelter, health care, clothing, education, or services designed to maintain or reunite the family; and
  • lacks access to or has declined to utilize these services, and
  • whose parents have evidenced continuing but unsuccessful efforts to maintain the family structure or are unable or unwilling to continue efforts to maintain the family structure; or
  • Is a sexually exploited child.


CHINS Brochure

CHINS Packet
CHINS Packet Instructions.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [174.8 KB]
CHINS Packet
CHINS Packet - Final.docx
Microsoft Word document [24.6 KB]
CHINS Petition Form
CHINS petition revised 1-11-2021.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [239.1 KB]
CHINS Petition Form
CHINS petition revised 1-11-2021.docx
Microsoft Word document [33.3 KB]

Court's Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

En respuesta a la nueva pandemia de coronavirus (o COVID-19), nuestros servicios estaran limitados

Click HERE for the latest information concerning the Court's response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Ex Parte

Important Notice

 Click HERE for a description of the Ex Parte process.

Holiday Schedule

The Courts will be closed for New Years on Friday, December 31, 2021.


The Courts will be closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 17, 2022. 



Please refer to the Court Holiday Schedule to see changes to regular calendar.


Arbitrator Eligibility

Important Notice

Click HERE for information and attestation form.

Superior Court Administration Benton County Justice Center

7122 W Okanogan Pl

Suite A130

Kennewick, WA 99336




Due to the rapidly changing nature of the Court’s information on the internet pages, the Benton and Franklin Counties Superior Courts cannot insure 100% accuracy.  The data and links are provided for informational purposes only and may not have been updated on the date you view it.  The Courts assume no liability for any legal consequences arising out of any information on these pages.

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