4534. Crisis Residential Center (CRC) Placement

Approval: Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary

Original Date:  December 12, 1996

Revised Date:  July 23, 2017

Policy Review: July 23, 2020


Crisis Residential Centers (CRC) are short-term, semi-secure or secure facilities for runaway youth and adolescents in conflict with their families. CRCs provide resources for emergency, temporary residence, assessment, and referrals to services for youth ages 12-17.


This policy applies to all Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) caseworkers.


RCW 13.32A.030  Definitions

RCW 13.32A.080  Unlawful harboring of a minor

RCW 43.185C.305  Youth Services-Crisis Residential Services-Removal From-Unauthorized leave

RCW 43.185C.310  Youth services—Crisis residential centers—Removal to  another center or secure facility—Placement in Secure Juvenile Detention Facility

RCW 74.14A.020  Services for Emotionally Disturbed and Mentally Ill Children, Potentially Dependent Children, and Families-In-Conflict

RCW 74.13.031  Duties of Department—Child Welfare Services—Children's Services Advisory Committee.

RCW 74.13.035  Crisis Residential Centers Annual Records—Multiple Licensing


  1. Accessing Placement in a CRC
    1. The caseworker must:
      1. Refer to 2200. Intake or 3100. Family Reconciliation Services policies for service requests for non-dependent youth requiring placement.
      2. Send a Child Information and Placement Referral form DSHS 15-300 to the CA placement coordinator for dependent youth.  The CRC will make the final determination whether to accept the placement request and priority will be given to:
        1. Youth who have run from out of home care; or
        2. Youth whose health and safety is at risk and a short-term placement is needed until an alternative is found.
  2. Placement in a CRC
    1. The caseworker must:
      1. When a child is not in CA’s care and custody and is placed in a CRC:
        1. Contact the youth within 24 hours of placement, excluding weekends and holidays and:
          1. Identify the youth’s critical needs.
        2. Obtain legal authorizations for placements lasting longer than 72 hours, if needed.
        3. Ensure placements in a CRC do not exceed 15 calendar days; the placement should not be longer than it takes to facilitate family reconciliation, return of the youth to the youth's home, or to develop an alternative long-term placement plan.
        4. Ensure a youth’s length of stay in a juvenile detention-based secure CRC does not exceed five calendar days. NOTE: For youth moving between CRC and Secure CRC, the youth’s stay cannot exceed 15 calendar days total.
        5. Follow ICW Manual Chapter 5.05 CPS Referrals – Involvement of All Indian Tribes before Court Intervention, and notify the youth’s tribe of the placement change if the youth is enrolled or is eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe.
        6. When a child is in CA’s care and custody and placed in a CRC:
          1. Schedule a Family Team Decision Making or Shared Planning Meeting within 72 hours of placement, excluding weekends and holidays.
          2. Authorize emergent medical and dental care.
          3. Transition the youth within five days of the discharge placement being identified.
          4. Relocate all dependent youth who have reached the maximum length stay of 15 calendar days for CRC or Secure CRC not located in a detention center, 5 calendar days for Secure CRCs that are located in a detention center, or 15 calendar days total CRC and Secure CRC.      
        7. Document case coordination in FamLink.
  3. Information Sharing with CRC Staff
    1. For dependent youth in a CRC the caseworker will provide and exchange the following information, if applicable, per RCW 74.13.280 and 4413. Placement policy. Information includes, but is not limited to:
      1. Name
      2. Date of birth
      3. Gender
      4. Behaviors
      5. Risks
      6. Special needs
      7. Sexually Aggressive/Physically Aggressive Assaultive Youth (SAY/PAAY) history
      8. Offense history


Child Information and Placement Referral form DCYF 15-300

Youth Run Prevention Plan DCYF 10-484  

Return Child De-Briefing form DCYF 15-309


Contracted Youth Services Providers