FACT FINDING / ADJUDICATION HEARING CHECKLIST
Persons who should always be present at the Fact Additional decisions at the Fact Finding Hearing:
Finding Hearing: Disposition Hearing should occur not later than 14
Judge or Court Commissioner days after the Fact Finding Hearing. Pending
Parents whose rights have not been Disposition, additional decisions need to be made:
terminated, including putative fathers Determine where the child is to be placed prior
Relatives with legal standing or other to Disposition Hearing.
custodial adults Order further testing or evaluation of the child
Assigned caseworker or parents in preparation for the Disposition
Agency attorney Hearing.
Attorneys for parents Direct DSHS to promptly evaluate relatives as
GAL / CASA for child possible caretakers, including relatives from
Attorney for child (if appointed) outside the area, and to commence ICPC
Tribal Representative (if ICWA case) process if necessary.
Court reporter or suitable technology Order the alleged perpetrator to stay out of the
family home and have no contacts with the
Persons whose presence may also be needed at the Direct DSHS to continue its efforts to notify
Fact Finding Hearing: noncustodial parents, including unwed fathers.
Age-appropriate children If foster care placement is ordered, set terms for
Extended family members visitation, support, and other intra-family
communications including both parent-child
Foster parents – Relative Placement
and sibling visits.
Judicial case management staff
Advise parents that their failure to substantially
Law enforcement officers remedy the problems may result in filing of a
Service providers Petition for Termination of parental rights.
The Court’s written Findings of Fact and
Key decisions the Court should make at the Fact Conclusions of Law should:
Finding Hearing: Accurately recite facts and circumstances which
Which allegations of the Petition have been resulted in finding of Dependency or dismissal
proved or admitted, if any of Petition.
Whether there is a legal basis for continued State facts and circumstances which are basis
Court and DSHS intervention. for any preliminary choices for treatment and
Whether reasonable efforts have been made to services.
prevent the need for placement or to safely State facts and circumstances as to why a child
reunify the family. cannot be returned home at this time, including
Is Child of Native American Heritage risks to the child.
Be written in easily understandable language so
that all parties know how the Court’s findings
relate to subsequent case planning.
Set a date for prompt presentation of orders
reflecting decision of the court.
If Dependency is established, set Dispositional
Hearing no later than 14 days from decision.
RCW 13.34.070 - within 75 Days
RCW 3.34.110 - Rules of Evidence Apply
RCW 13.34.115 - Hearing Open to Public