FAMILY INTERVENTION AND RESTORATIVE SERVICES (FIRS) CENTER
King County introduced a new approach to processing juvenile domestic violence incidences in January of 2016. This new approach, known as Family Intervention and Restorative Services (FIRS), establishes an alternative to criminal processing for youth who commit domestic violence related offenses. Per the FIRS paradigm, youth who commit domestic violence related offenses are removed from the home and brought to a respite center (FIRS Center), where they are offered short-term lodging to allow for a de-escalation period between youth and families. Upon entering into the FIRS Center, youth receive a risk/needs assessment, and are in tandem connected with a social worker who immediately develops a network of relevant services for both the youth and their families. All these services occur without charges referred to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
An evaluation of the FIRS Center by SAJE researchers at the University of Washington found that agreement to participate in FIRS was significantly associated with less re-referrals to juvenile court within the subsequent twelve months.
Walker, S. (2017). Process and Impact Evaluation: Family Intervention and Restorative Services Center (FIRS). Seattle, WA: University of Washington School of Medicine.