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  • Youth (and the parent or caregiver) referred by the juvenile court system following an arrest for domestic violence with a family member. This includes judges, prosecutor's office victim advocates, probation counselors, At-Risk Youth petitions, family court and attorneys.
  • Families referred by police officers who responded to a call where the youth was violent in the home.
  • Families referred by community agencies, counselors, schools or other helping professionals, and those who find the program online.
  • Approximately 70 per cent of Step-Up youth are court ordered to participate in the program.
  • Parents and caregivers attending Step-Up have included step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster parents, adult siblings or adult family friend who has been in a caregiver role with the youth.

Many teens don't want to go to counseling. If your teen is violent in the home and refuses to go to counseling, and all attempts to persuade him or her have failed, the juvenile court system can be a motivator for your teen to get the help he or she needs.

There are two ways to get court support:

  • Call the police when there is violent behavior. See Should I Call 911? You can call the police if your teen is violent to any person or property, or threatens to become violent or hurt you in any way (See Washington State Domestic Violence Law). If there is an arrest or a police report is filed, your teen will likely be court ordered to do counseling.
  • Another option is an At-Risk-Youth Petition (ARY) (see At-Risk-Youth Petition), which is a way to get court support and mandated counseling without calling the police or filing charges.

Three ways to encourage your teen to attend Step-Up:

  • Tell your teen about the ARY Petition, and give the option of not filing one if he or she participates in the Step-Up program.
  • Ask your teen to “try it out” by coming to 2 or 3 sessions to see how it is. Teens often find out that it is helpful and want to continue.
  • Let your teen know that going to Step-Up will help prevent a call to the police. (if he or she is not violent). For teens who are concerned about police intervention, this can be a motivation to attend.

Call Step-Up at 206-296-7841 to discuss any of the above, or for more ideas and support.