Daybreak Appeals Department of Health Intent to Revoke Licenses

November 30, 2018 (Brush Prairie, WA) – Daybreak Youth Services, which provides life-saving treatment and care to young people suffering from both substance use disorder and mental illness, has appealed the Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) recent notices of intent to revoke two licenses for the non-profit Brush Prairie facility.

Daybreak is exercising its legal right to appeal the DOH’s decision, to protect the only psychiatric residential treatment facility in Washington for at-risk youth who require both mental health and substance use services.  Daybreak filed its appeal today, noting that the intended revocations are based on “inaccurate and unsubstantiated claims and evidence.

“This is a matter of injustice not only to our state’s only long-standing, proven psychiatric treatment provider for these troubled youth, but more importantly injustice to the young people who will have nowhere else to turn if Daybreak’s doors are forced to close,” said David H. Smith, attorney for Daybreak Youth Services.  “The state is basing its decision on inaccurate and incomplete information and misleading evidence that is the result of unlawful investigatory practices by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.”

Daybreak’s application for a hearing to appeal the revocations does not attempt a point0by-point rebuttal of the claims in the DOH notices.  Rather it offers examples to show that DOH based its decisions on a fundamental misunderstanding of Daybreak’s program and misapplication of Washington’s statutory and administrative code requirements.

Daybreak maintains is has:

  • Reported all safety incidents to appropriate agencies as required by law, despite DOH’s allegations of unreported incidents;
  • Continued to provide and improve staff training, including Crisis Prevention Institute protocols designed to deescalate acts of aggression and self-harm, in accordance with quality improvement efforts and state and federal mandates;
  • Complied with DOH-approved admission policies and procedures that are based on American Society of Addiction Medicine criteria and age-based criteria;
  • Secured Daybreak’s voluntary treatment facility and its clients with improved fencing;
  • Taken appropriate steps to procure medication from another state-approved pharmacy after the previous state-approved pharmacy failed to deliver in a timely manner;
  • Complied with state law for nursing staff levels, while noting that Washington law does not set mandatory staffing ratios and the state has no jurisdiction to enforce a staffing ratio purportedly set in a local land-use order.

Daybreak’s appeal further notes that the state’s licensing investigation is tainted by its coordination with an ongoing investigation by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, which in September unlawfully seized highly confidential and sensitive patient records in violation with federal patient privacy laws.

Daybreak’s appeal requests a formal hearing, at which the state must president evidence to support its intended revocation, and where Daybreak will have the opportunity to demonstrate that, contrary to the Department of Health’s inaccurate depiction, Daybreak Youth Services’ state-of-the-art Brush Prairie facility maintains and upholds the State of Washington’s high standards for residential treatment facilities.


Daybreak has been successfully treating teens for drug and alcohol addiction since 19788.  We are committed to serving teens and their families and have become an innovation leader in youth drug and alcohol treatment.  Daybreak operates outpatient and inpatient treatment programs in Eastern and Western Washington, serving teens from around the Northwest. Together, Daybreak’s programs serve more than 1,000 adolescents each year.


Media Contact:

Madison Mullins, Daybreak Youth Services

360-635-4120 Ext. 3054 or

Daybreak Youth Services

Daybreak has been successfully treating teens for drug and alcohol addiction since 1978. We are committed to serving teens and their families, and have become an innovative leader in the youth drug and alcohol treatment field. We operate outpatient and inpatient treatment programs in Eastern and Western Washington. Daybreak serves teens from around the Northwest. Together, Daybreak’s programs serve more than 1,000 adolescents each year.

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