Shelter Care


Please note that this material must be thoroughly reviewed for accuracy prior to use and is a not a substitute for independent legal research. These materials are maintained as information is provided to OCLA CRP, but not regularly or systematically reviewed for currentness. Please review the website terms of use

Statutes, Cases, and Legislation


Practice Guides

Secondary Materials

Training Videos

Keeping Families Together: Overview of the Keeping Families Together Act (HB 1227) (originally provided on May 4, 2023, 12:00-1:30 PM)

Summary. In 2021, the Washington State Legislature passed the Keeping Families Together Act (HB 1227) in recognition that children and families are best served when children are cared for by their loved ones and in their communities. This legislation goes into effect on July 1, 2023 and fundamentally changes how courts make decisions about child safety, including consideration of the short-term and long-term harms that a child is likely to experience as a result of being forcibly removed from the home. This training will provide a high-level overview of the statutory changes resultant of the Keeping Families Together Act.  This training will also introduce the tools, trainings, and resources that have been developed by the Administrative Office of the Courts and that will be provided to judicial officers across the state to support courts in implementing this historical legislative change, so that we can learn and know how to best advocate for the families who will appear in front of these courts following the roll out of this new law.  Attorneys, social workers, and parent allies are all welcome to attend this training!

Presenter. Laura Vogel – As the Child Welfare Training and Court Improvement Specialist for the Administrative Office of the Courts, Laura coordinates training and court improvement efforts for child dependency courts. Previously, she was employed by Thurston County Superior Court as the Family Recovery Court Coordinator, and subsequently as the Safe Babies Court Community Coordinator. Laura holds bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Kent State. Laura is a Certified Trauma Support Specialist and a board member for HeartStrides Therapeutic Horsemanship.

Presentation Slides & Other Materials.

  • Handout
  • Washington State Court Administrative Office of the Court, Keeping Families Together resources, click here.
  • iDecide tool, click here.

HB 1227 Realized:  How to Dominate Shelter Care in a Post-1227 World (originally provided on May 23, 2023, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM)

MCLE Activity ID: 1247111 | Valid through 06/22/2028 unless removed earlier. Please note that OCLA does not report attendance for viewing recorded or on-demand audio or video CLEs.

To receive credit, please visit WSBA Login Dispatch.

Summary. HB 1227 will go into effect on July 1, 2023.  Are you ready?  In this interactive, virtual training, we will review HB 1227 and learn about the many ways this ground-breaking legislation changes our current law governing shelter care, relative placement, foster care placement, and more.  We will work together to apply the new law to the facts of a dependency case, both at the stage of a 72-hour shelter care hearing and at a 30-day shelter care hearing and determine how the new law changes our analysis around issues of removal, harm of removal, prevention services, and visitation.  This training will familiarize you with the language of HB 1227, as well as how to practically apply HB 1227 when the law rolls out.  Attorneys, social workers, and parent allies are all welcome to attend this training!

Presenter. Jeffrey Adams, Training Coordinator, Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid, and Marci Comeau, Managing Attorney, Washington State Office of Public Defense.

Presentation Slides & Other Materials.

Implementing HB 1747 and 1227, A Training for Trial and Appellate Attorneys (originally provided on June 8, 2023, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Summary. Big changes are afoot in dependency cases! HB 1747 has gone into effect, and HB 1227 is rolling out on July 1, 2023. These bills make it much harder for DCYF to remove kids from their parents’ care, give the courts more oversight over what the Department does in terms of placement, and require the courts to consider whether guardianship is available as a permanent option for children in care. But they won’t be effective unless attorneys are ready to litigate their new requirements at every level of the dependency process! Join us on June 8, 2023, when we will bring together trial-level parent representation attorneys, child representation attorneys, and appellate attorneys for an interactive, breakout training where we will learn about, and discuss, HB 1227 and HB 1747 hot topics!

Presenter. Tara Urs, King County DPD, and Marci Comeau, Managing Attorney, Washington State Office of Public Defense.

Presentation Slides & Other Materials.

Statutory Overview Presentation at the Basics for the Bench Training

Presenter. Jeffrey Adams, Training Coordinator, Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid, Marci Comeau, Managing Attorney, Washington State Office of Public Defense, and Drew Puglsey, Washington State Attorney General’s Office.

Presentation Slides & Other Materials.


The following is a list of additional resources that may assist you during the implementation phase of HB 1227.

OPD PowerPoint Presentations

For additional ABA resources, click here.