WEST RICHLAND, Wash. -- Court documents say 16-year-old Joshua Tucker was a troubled young man. He'd been placed in a Richland foster home and had run away several times. Ellen Schalchlin took him in.
DSHS' Carlos Carillo says in his area, which stretches from Ellensburg to Walla Walla, there are over 300 teens who've been placed by the legal system.
He says of these, about a 100, or a third are in therapeutic group homes and behaviorial rehabilitation centers. These are groups specially created for teens with behavorial challenges.
He says the main problem with teens in the foster care system is that there are not enough homes for them.
Carillo says, "When it comes to teens, not all foster parents are comfortable dealing with this multi-need, multi-symptom kids. That makes it difficult for us."
He says teens can also be held in a juvenile justice center for breaking their foster care agreement, like if they run away.
Unfortunately, none of these preventative measures was able to keep Josh Tucker from being arrested for murder.