99 Kids and the Law Does the child have a right to an attorney for this court-ordered evaluation? Yes, an attorney will be appointed to represent the child and will be present at the evaluation interviews. What happens at the evaluation? While meeting with the child and parent or guardian, the clinician evaluates the seriousness of the child’s substance use, the history of the child’s attempts at out-patient treatment, and the child’s ability to seek voluntary services. The evaluator will inform the child’s attorney and the parent of the clinical opinion. If the clinician is recommending commitment, the attorney will explain the options to the child. A child who is 16 or over and does not want to be treated in-patient may choose to have a commitment hearing before a judge. What are the standards used to determine that a child requires involuntary treatment for substance use? For a child to be subjected to involuntary commitment to a substance use fa- cility the evaluation must show that: 1. the child has a substance use disorder; and 2. there is a likelihood of serious harm to the child or others as a result of the disorder. At the hearing, the clinician gives medical and other testimony and offers a clinical opinion; the child’s parent or guardian may also give testimony. The child’s attorney represents the child’s stated position. If the judge determines that the child does not have a substance use disorder that presents the likelihood of serious harm to the child or others, the judge will dismiss the petition. If the judge determines that the child has a substance use disorder and there is a likelihood of serious harm to the child or others as a result of the disorder, the judge can order the child committed to a residential treatment facility. Two facilities in the state accept children who have been committed for residen- tial treatment: Motivating Youth Recovery (MYR) and Clean and Sober Teens Living Empowered (CASTLE). See the Resources section at the back for more information about the programs. Mental Health and Substance Use Issues 8