Designated crisis responders (DCR)

This page provides resources for DCRs in their implementation of the Involuntary Treatment Act (ITA) (RCW 71.05 and RCW 71.34).

Find designated crisis responder (DCR) offices in Washington.

What is a DCR authorized to do?

Determine if the person presents a harm to self/others/property, or is gravely disabled and is at imminent risk, or if there is a nonemergent risk due to a substance use disorder or mental disorder, or is in need of assisted outpatient behavioral health treatment.

The DCR will conduct an evaluation and investigation:

  • Interviewing all reasonably available family, friends, or others.

  • Interview the person after informing them of their involuntary treatment rights.

  • Consider all available less restrictive treatment options.

  • Determine if the person meets criteria for involuntary treatment.

  • If the DCR finds the person meets the criteria for involuntary treatment, the DCR will work to find an available treatment bed.

  • If there is no available involuntary treatment bed, then the DCR will not detain the person.

  • If the person is detained and admitted to a secure withdrawal management and stabilization facility, the person will likely go to court at the end of 72 hours and the court will decide if the person meets criteria for a commitment order for up to 14 days of further treatment. During this time, the person will be introduced to substance use treatment.

  • At the time of discharge from secure withdrawal management and stabilization, the person will be referred to the appropriate level of care such as intensive outpatient or residential treatment, which may be court ordered.

Model documents and forms for DCRs

The following model documents are available to assist you in your work. You are not required to use these model documents.

Note: It is a good practice to have new documents that will be submitted to the courts reviewed by your legal representative.

Designated crisis responder (DCR) protocols

DCR protocols provide guidelines on the process for administering the ITA for: