Admissions to Hutton

The Hutton Settlement admissions process involves initial screening, campus tour, information gathering and formal placement decision.

The process of placement can range from one week to three weeks depending on available information and urgency of need. The criteria for placement includes the following:

We recognize that some children have understandably developed survival behaviors related to exposure to abuse, neglect and other forms of trauma in their young lives. These outward behaviors may include lying, stealing, hoarding, wetting, isolation, compulsive agreement, dependency and mild aggression. The Hutton Settlement staff maintain continuous training in understanding the core reasons for these various behaviors and how to address them in a home environment. In the placement process, these challenging behaviors are evaluated to determine their severity and whether they can be effectively managed in our setting as relationships are developed.

  • Child shall be between the ages of six and 14 years of age. Special consideration for children over the age of 14 may be allowed depending on the level of need and circumstance.
  • Child shall be in need of out-of-home care for a minimum of nine months.
  • Child shall be willing to participate in a one-month initial placement, and partake in the minimum expectations of daily life, to include consistent school attendance and observance of cottage schedules.
  • Child shall not have a significant diagnosed developmental disability or mental illness that warrants specialized care according to a mental health professional.
  • Child shall not have a history of unsolicited patterns of physically aggressive behaviors that are intended to repeatedly harm others.
  • Child shall not have a history of sexually aggressive behavior towards others, or a history of compulsive sexual acts including forced exposure, public stimulation, or sexually explicit threats.

Parent Education and Coaching

We recognize that many parents are dealing with fear, shame and anxiety related to generational challenges that may include their own childhood exposure to marginal parenting, poverty or trauma.

Our commitment to attuned relationships includes drawing our circle of care around the entire family unit and offering assistance to parents as needed. Primary houseparent staff and our parent educator are registered Circle of Security Parenting facilitators that provide formal and informal parent education and coaching to families to assist in the challenges all parents face. This parent education and coaching service is available to all parents of the children in residence and for families within the Spokane community. Additionally, all graduating residents attend Circle of Security Parenting training prior to transition to adulthood.


At Hutton, we recognize that a child cannot be effectively cared for apart from their family. It is our belief that a child may need to be removed from the home, but in most cases should not be removed from family relationships.

Despite the reasons for an alternative home placement at Hutton, many of our children have strong attachments to their parents, caregivers or extended family. It is our mission in serving the child to maintain those parent-child attachments, when appropriate, through consistent parent engagement. Our case manager maintains strong connections with parents and promotes parent-child relationships through consistent visitation ranging from monthly supervised day visits to home visits scheduled every other weekend. Additionally, holiday and summer extended visits are scheduled to support special family events. In many cases, we serve as permanency partners with the parents in the care of their child. We can be a secondary family!


The Hutton Settlement provides and coordinates counseling services to all children in care as needed.

Due to the flexible nature of our placements, each child comes to us with their own set of hopes and fears. Many possess varying emotional and behavioral challenges related to experiences in their young lives. Some struggle with transition and developmental adjustments. We believe it is essential to provide the strong support for each child to help them navigate a path to healing. Our licensed mental health counselor organizes and provides therapeutic services for the children, while maintaining written service and progress plans for each child to ensure exceptional care.

Who Hutton Takes In

Quadrants of Care

The Hutton Settlement provides and coordinates counseling services to all children in care as needed.


    We believe deep change and healing occurs, not from brief stays focused on behavioral management practices, but on sustainable and attuned relationships focused on building secure connections. This approach patiently fosters safety and trust, and assists in forming and maintaining a child’s relationship with both their parents and direct care staff. Our model of care is guided by the Circle of Security attachment based parenting model intending to enhance awareness and emotional attunement. Our mental health team specializes in trauma informed care and attachment-based interventions. Additionally, half of our care staff are Registered Circle of Security facilitators through COS International and support parents in reunification or Hutton permanency partnerships.


    With many of our children dealing with social and behavioral health issues associated with complex trauma and insecure attachments, we invest in building capacities and skills in emotional intelligence through social emotional learning opportunities. This learning is delivered through diverse methods and content to include our on campus service learning program, adventure-based expeditions, and creative arts club. Additionally, our SET life skills development plan for residents in 9th through 12th grade guides adolescents through personal assessments, relationship courses and experiential learning to develop self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management skills.

    Cultivating a culture of excellence through a defined purpose, celebrated progress, high competence and empowered choice requires leadership that builds trust through support and accountability. With appreciative inquiry sessions to promote innovation and strengths recognition, a dynamic governance model for consent-based decision making, weekly training and consultation for direct care staff development, and senior leadership trained in the latest organizational development and business administration practices, the Hutton Settlement is committed to leadership that serves first.


    On our 319-acre campus, we have a strong history of farming and conservation. This tradition continues as we adapt to modern methods that support health in our ecological and societal systems. Sustainable living at Hutton involves teaching and practicing the ethics of people care, earth care and fair share through permaculture gardening, tree farming, nature studies, food preservation & distribution, handicrafts and community development. Through collaborative efforts with our social emotional learning programs, Hutton’s sustainable living effort strives to expand eco-literacy to all residents.

More About Our Program

Hutton Settlement has been in place for nearly a century.

Our program provides the stability that is difficult to achieve in short-term foster care. Children’s lives at Hutton are consistent, with brothers, sisters, friends, and other meaningful adults. We give children a stable environment to help strengthen their growth and development.


The Hutton Settlement campus operation is certified by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services as meeting all of the licensing requirements for a residential childcare facility. Children under the care and custody of the state may be placed at The Settlement at no cost to taxpayers. They will maintain a DCYF case monitor and will work in cooperation with the Hutton staff in these responsibilities.


Hutton Settlement is a neighborhood of care. We have four large homes where children live in a household setting under the supervision of “house parents”. This structure is meant to give children individualized care.


    Referrals come from parents, grandparents, family members, case managers, therapists, educators, and other child welfare advocates. The referral process can begin with a simple phone call or e-mail to our office. We will guide you through an evaluation of the child’s needs and the needs of the family. It will then be determined if Hutton Settlement will be in the best interest of the child.


    Children should plan to stay for at least the completion of a full school year, although stay througout their childhood and through high school graduation. We can provide both short term stays of 9 months to one year, or permanency lasting many years.


    If parents/guardians wish to retain responsibility for their child without involvement from government agencies, it is possible to directly place their child/children at the Hutton Settlement. Our goal is to keep siblings together and partner with parents and guardians to create the best possible experience.

  • COST

    The Hutton Settlement is privately endowed, therefore it is not dependent on government funding for support. No child is turned away because a parent/guardian is unable to pay. The charge depends on if caretaker is able to pay.
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