Can someone from another system refer a minor for mental health inpatient treatment?

  • YES: The referral process, the prior authorization process, and the process of obtaining consent are the same regardless of who initiates the referral.
    • School district personnel who refer minors to an inpatient treatment program must notify the parents within forty-eight hours. RCW 71.34.500-530.
  • A child in the legal custody of the Division of Children and Family Services may be referred by their Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) social worker. However, the child's parent must provide the consent for the admission. In an emergency and if the parent is unavailable, the social worker may give consent for an inpatient admission. However, a court hearing must occur by the next judicial day and a judge must authorize that emergency consent. A judge cannot order any child into inpatient treatment except in accordance with RCW 71.34.