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Dependency Public Defenders

child welfare attorney iconThe State of Washington Office of Public Defense (State OPD) provides court-appointed lawyers for most indigent parents in Juvenile Court Child Welfare matters. This is done through their Parents' Representation Program. The attorneys often work in several different courts, and have offices in several counties. Their contact information information is below.

The Dependency Public Defenders office is not part of Superior Court, and this information is provided merely as a public service.

Rights of Parents

  • You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint one to you.
  • You have the right to admit or deny the allegations made about you and your family.
  • You have the right to be notified about all court hearings.
  • You have the right to an interpreter if you do not understand English. The court provides interpreters for youth and families in court.
  • You have the right to talk to your social worker and your attorney. If they are unavailable when you call, leave a message with a phone number where you can be reached or try them again. Keep track of the best times to call them. Keep a record of your attempts to make contact with all professionals.
  • You have a right and a responsibility to visit your child.

Responsibilities of Parents

  • Approach the case with an earnest desire to address the issues.
  • Attend all the court hearings and meetings.
  • Comply with your treatment plan. If you cannot make an appointment, call your social worker and treatment provider ahead of time.
  • Stay in touch with your attorney and social worker. You are responsible for providing them with your current address and phone number.
  • Be aware of your court-ordered services. Keep track of your appointments in writing. Following through with your services increases the likelihood of your child being returned to your care.

Parent Representation

Gene Graff

871 11th Ave Suite 1
Longview, WA 98632
Phone (877) 437-1616

Meredith Graff

1508 Broadway St
Vancouver, WA 98663
Phone (360) 694-9947

Ryan Busby

108 E Mill Plain Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98660
Phone (360) 213-2040


Jamie Foster

871 11th Ave, Suite 1
Longview, WA 98632
Phone (360) 501-8078


Roger Priest

211 E McLoughlin Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98663
Phone (360) 281-7314

 Elle Couto

871 11th Ave, Suite 1
Longview, WA 98632
Phone (360) 423-0575

Youth Attorneys

In many cases attorneys are appointed to represent minors in dependency matters. The following lawyers are only assigned to represent children in dependency matters.

Jeff Petersen

1315 14th Avenue
Longview, WA 98632
Phone (360) 442-4101

Kelly Buschman

1801 1st Ave Suite 1A
Longview, WA 98632
Phone (360) 578-7430

 Necole Michael

1801 1st Ave Suite 1A
Longview, WA 98632


In any particular case, you may be assigned a different lawyer than any of those listed here. If that occurs you will be given the attorney's contact information when you attend Court.
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, you will need to call your attorney’s office and make an appointment.  Tell the receptionist the above court dates and that you must meet with your attorney before those dates.  You needn’t talk to the attorney when you call—merely schedule an appointment with his/her receptionist.  If an answering machine is your only contact when you make this call, please leave your name and number and your attorney will get back to you.


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TELEPHONE: (360) 577-3085
TTY (800) 883-6388 OR 7115
Superior Court Administration Hours: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
KELSO, WA 98626
Building Hours - 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM