DAR File No. 42862
This rule was published in the May 15, 2018, issue (Vol. 2018, No. 10) of the Utah State Bulletin.
Human Services, Administration, Administrative Services, Licensing
Foster Care Services
Notice of Proposed Rule
DAR File No.: 42862
Filed: 04/30/2018 03:48:16 PM
Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:
These changes are to clarify pieces of language regarding foster care services.
Summary of the rule or change:
These amendments are to implement clarifying language, particularly within Subsection R501-12-5(7)(i). These changes better clarify statutory intent for who capacity exceptions apply to. It also adds an "or" as originally intended, but omitted from the original rule filing to Subsection R501-12-4(4)(c)(i). The lack of the word "or" was causing a great deal of frustration and confusion for providers. The definition of "child" is clarified to align with the current practice that allows the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) initiated placements into foster homes for children no longer in custody (for example adopted children in need of respite care).
Statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:
- Section 62A-2-120
Anticipated cost or savings to:
the state budget:
These changes are purely for clarifying purposes. These changes will not alter the work for any state entity.
Local governments are not affected by the rules governing foster homes.
Since these changes are centered around language clarifications, there is no impact to any small businesses.
persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:
No other entities will be affected by these changes.
Compliance costs for affected persons:
No person will bear a compliance cost. The compliance is within the Department of Human Services.
Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:
After conducting a thorough analysis, it was determined that these rule changes will result in no or very minimal financial impact for small businesses.
Ann Williamson, Executive Director
The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Office of Administrative Rules, or at:Human Services
Administration, Administrative Services, Licensing
195 N 1950 W 1ST FLR
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84116
Direct questions regarding this rule to:
- Janice Weinman at the above address, by phone at 385-321-5586, by FAX at 801-538-4553, or by Internet E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Samantha Hanson at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4041, by FAX at , or by Internet E-mail at email@example.com
- Jonah Shaw at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4225, by FAX at 801-538-3942, or by Internet E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:
This rule may become effective on:
Ann Williamson, Executive Director
Appendix 1: Regulatory Impact Summary Table*
Total Fiscal Costs:
Total Fiscal Benefits:
Net Fiscal Benefits:
*This table only includes fiscal impacts that could be measured. If there are inestimable fiscal impacts, they will not be included in this table. Inestimable impacts for State Government, Local Government, Small Businesses and Other Persons are described above. Inestimable impacts for Non - Small Businesses are described below.
Appendix 2: Regulatory Impact to Non - Small Businesses
These rule amendments are not expected to have any impact on medium or large business because it only implements clarifying language to the existing Rule R501-12 and has no added expenditures or costs that impact anyone listed in this chart.
R501. Human Services, Administration, Administrative Services, Licensing.
R501-12. Foster Care Services.
This Rule is authorized by Sections 62A-2-101 et seq.
R501-12-2. Purpose Statement.
(1) This Rule establishes standards for the licensure of foster parents for children in the custody of DHS, inclusive of its Divisions.
(2) This Rule establishes standards that must be utilized by child-placing foster agencies for the certification of foster parents to provide care for foster children.
(3) This Rule establishes compliance standards for licensed and certified foster parents.
As used in this Rule:
(1) "Agency" means a child-placing foster agency licensed by the DHS Office of Licensing to certify foster parents.
(2) "Child" means a person under 18 years of age or a person under 21 years of age who remains subject to the continuing jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court .
(3) "Child Care" is defined in Section 26-39-102.
(4) "DCFS" means the DHS Division of Child and Family Services.
(5) "DHS" means the Utah Department of Human Services.
(6) "Direct Access" is defined in section 62A-2-101.
(7) "DJJS" means the DHS Division of Juvenile Justice Services.
(8) "Foster Care" means the temporary provision of family based care for a foster child by a foster parent.
(9) "Foster Parent" means a substitute parent licensed by the DHS Office of Licensing or certified by a licensed child-placing foster agency, and includes the spouse of the primary applicant. Foster parents may also be referred to by other titles, including but not limited to proctor foster parents, professional foster parents, resource families, or kinship caregivers.
(10) "Hazardous Material" means any substance that if ingested, inhaled, ignited, used, or touched may cause significant injury, illness, or death. These substances include but are not limited to:
(c) bleach, including bleach based cleansers;
(d) compressed air
(e) ammonia, including ammonia based cleansers;
(f) chemical drain openers;
(g) hair relaxers/permanents;
(i) spray paint;
(j) paint thinner;
(k) automotive fluids;
(l) toxic glues (excludes non-toxic glues);
(m) oven cleaners;
(n) matches/lighters/lighter fluid;
(o) cleaning aerosols;
(p) medications; and
(q) ultra and concentrated detergent capsules.
(11) "Home Study" is the same as a pre-placement adoptive evaluation as outlined in 78B-6-128 and is the written assessment of an applicant's ability to:
(a) comply with all applicable statutes and administrative rules related to providing foster care;
(b) meet the physical and emotional needs of a child in foster care; and
(c) actively engage in achieving the custodial agency's identified outcomes for foster children.
(12) "Human Services Program" is defined in Section 62A-2-101.
(13) "Incidental Care" is defined in 62A-2-120.
(a) Foster parents shall utilize reasonable and prudent judgment in selecting a provider of incidental care of a foster child;
(b) incidental care is permitted only in DHS licensed homes, not those certified by child placing agencies.
(14) "Medication" means any over-the-counter or prescription drug, vitamin, or supplement in any form.
(15) "Poverty Guidelines" means the current US Department of Health and Human Services listing of poverty levels as determined by the number of members of a family (see http://www.direct.ed.gov/RepayCalc/poverty.html).
(16) "Reside" means living in the home for any cumulative thirty days of the past 12 months.
(17) "Respite Care" means the short term provision of family based care for a foster child by a foster parent in order to provide relief to another parent.
(18) "Siblings" means children with a common parent or grandparent, regardless of whether their legal relationship has been severed, including biological siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings, adopted siblings, and cousins.
(19) "Sick" means to have a fever, to be experiencing ongoing or severe diarrhea, unexplained lethargy, respiratory distress, ongoing or severe vomiting, or pain or other symptoms that are ongoing or severe enough to impair a child's ability to participate in normal activity.
R501-12-4. Initial, Renewal, and Reapplication Process.
(1) Initial Application for Licensure or Certification: An individual or legally married couple age 21 or over may apply to be a foster parent. The applicant shall provide:
(a) Application Forms: A completed Office of Licensing or Agency foster care application that lists each member of the applicant's household must be submitted, including acknowledgment of:
(i) responsibility to maintain all current and past clients' confidentiality;
(ii) Office of Licensing Provider Code of Conduct; and
(iii) a verification that the applicant(s) have read and understand R501-12 Foster Care Services;
(b) Background Screening: a completed background screening application for each member of the household who is 18 years of age or older, including any supplemental documentation that the application requires;
(c) Financial Viability: a written statement of household income and expenses, together with consecutive current pay stubs or income tax forms;
(i) The Office of Licensing or Agency may consider poverty guidelines when evaluating the dependence of a foster parent on foster payments for their own expenses.
(ii) The Office of Licensing or Agency may require supporting documentation of household income and expenses in order to verify the foster parent will not be dependent on foster care reimbursement for their own expenses.
(i) Verification of successful completion of agency approved pre-service training by each applicant within the past 24 months, and
(ii) Verification of current CPR/first aid training for each prospective foster parent. Examples of accepted training include but are not limited to: Heart Savers, American Red Cross, and American Heart Association Friends and Family.
(2) Medical Assessment:
(a) Each applicant shall authorize their current licensed physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner to complete and send a signed medical reference report directly to the Office of Licensing or Agency. Medical reference reports must assess the current ability of the individual to be a foster parent.
(b) A professional mental health examination of a prospective or current foster parent may be required by the Office of Licensing or the Agency if there are concerns regarding the individual's mental status which may impair functioning as a foster parent. These concerns may be based upon any information gathered during the licensing/certifying and monitoring process.
(i) The type of professional mental health examination required shall be determined by the Office of Licensing or Agency based on the nature of the presenting concerns.
(ii) Determination of need and type of examination will be made collaboratively involving the licensor, Agency or Office of Licensing administration, and clinical staff from within the Department of Human Services or Agency.
(iii) The prospective or current foster parent shall authorize the release of examination information to the Office of Licensing or Agency, including a signed report that assesses the ability of the individual to parent vulnerable children full time as a foster parent.
(c) Medical and mental health examinations shall be paid for by the prospective or current foster parent.
(d) The Agency or the Office of Licensing may, in the exercise of their professional judgment, deny or revoke an application or license if a medical reference report or other examination reveals reasonable concerns regarding an applicant's ability to provide foster care services, or if the required examination is not completed and provided to the Agency of the Office of Licensing.
(a) At the time of initial application, the applicant(s) shall submit the names, mailing address, email addresses, and phone numbers of no more than four individuals who will be contacted by the agency or the Office of Licensing and asked to provide a reference letter. These individuals shall be knowledgeable regarding the ability of the applicant(s) to provide a safe environment and to nurture foster children. No more than one reference may be a relative of the applicant. Only the four original reference individuals submitted will be considered.
(b) A minimum of three out of the four individuals must submit reference letters directly to the Agency or the Office of Licensing. A minimum of three reference letters received must be acceptable to the Agency or the Office of Licensing.
(c) The Agency or the Office of Licensing may, in the exercise of their professional judgment, deny an application if a reference reveals reasonable concerns regarding an applicant's ability to provide foster care services.
(4) Background Screening:
(a) Each applicant and all persons 18 years of age or older residing in the home shall submit a background screening application as part of the initial application. A background screening application is also required at the point any new individual over the age of 18 moves into the home. A foster parent shall not be licensed or certified unless the background screening applications of all persons 18 years of age or older who reside in the home are approved by the Office of Licensing in compliance with Section 62A-2-120 and R501-14.
(b) A background screening approval shall not be transferred from one Agency to another Agency.
(c) A foster parent shall not permit any person without an Office approved background screening clearance to have unsupervised direct access to a foster child unless:
(i) the person is a provider of "Incidental Care" as defined in 62A-2-120 and 501-12-3-15;
(ii) the person's access is driven by child-centered normalcy needs that are guided by reasonable and prudent parenting as described in 62A-4a-211 through 212 and is not a foster parent-centered delegation of parental responsibility.
(d) A foster parent shall immediately notify the Office of Licensing or Agency if any person in the home is charged with or under investigation for any criminal offense or allegation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of any child or vulnerable adult.
(e) Pursuant to section 62A-4a-1003(2), the Office of Licensing shall review and evaluate information from the Division of Child and Family Services Management Information System for the purpose of licensing and for the purpose of monitoring all individuals who reside in the foster parents' home. When, in the professional judgment of the Office of Licensing, a supported or substantiated finding against any individual who resides in the foster parents' home may pose a risk of harm to a foster child, the Office of Licensing may issue a safety plan or a sanction on the license of the foster parent or Agency.
(5) Home Study:
(a) The Office of Licensing or Agency is not required to perform a home study until after the background screening applications of all persons 18 years of age or older who reside in the home are approved.
(b) A narrative home study shall be completed by an adoption service provider as described in 78B-6-128(2)(c) and may be used for adoptive purposes.
(c) The home study shall include, but not be limited to:
(i) background and current information of each caregiver, including but not limited to information regarding family of origin, discipline used by parents, family history or presence of abuse or neglect, use of substances, education, employment, relationship with extended family, mental and physical health history based on doctor's examination completed within two years, stress reduction techniques, values, and interests;
(ii) marital relationship information, including but not limited to areas of conflict, communication, how problems are resolved, and how responsibilities are shared;
(iii) family demographical information, including but not limited to ages, ethnicity, languages spoken, dates of birth, gender, relationships, and history of adoption;
(iv) family characteristics including but not limited to functioning, cohesion, interests, work/life balance, family activities, ethnicity, culture, and values;
(v) child care and supervision arrangements;
(vi) written description of in-person interviews conducted with the applicants, applicants' children, and others residing in the home;
(vii) written description of the physical characteristics of the home, including neighborhood and school information, sufficient space and facilities to meet the needs of children and ensure their basic health and safety;
(viii) motivation for doing foster care, including assessment of interest in adoption vs. foster care only;
(ix) assessment of understanding and expectations of children in foster care;
(x) previous experience caring for children;
(xi) current and planned methods of discipline, use of privileges, family rules;
(xii) previous experience with children with special needs or trauma histories;
(xiii) description of the reference response regarding the character and suitability of the applicants;
(xiv) assessment of informal and formal supports;
(xv) assessment of willingness and ability to access support and resources;
(xvi) finances, including bankruptcies;
(xvii) applicant strengths and weaknesses;
(xviii) applicant history of any and all previous applications, home studies, or licenses/certifications related to providing foster care;
(xix) assessment of ability to actively engage in achieving the custodial agency's identified outcomes for foster children; and
(xx) recommendations for the applicant's suitability for placement of children, to include: child matching, capacity, training, and support needs; and
(xxi) query results of the home address on the Utah Sex Offender Registry and address how potential threats will be mitigated.
(6) Foster Parent Annual Renewal Application: A foster parent who wishes to remain authorized to provide foster care services shall submit renewal paper work at least 30 days and no longer than 90 days prior to license or certification expiration. Background screening approvals and renewal activities have to be completed prior to license expiration. Foster parent shall provide or otherwise submit to the following annually:
(a) Renewal application which addresses all updates and changes to the initial application. Requirements to include:
(i) acknowledgment responsibility to maintain confidentiality for current and past clients;
(ii) acknowledgement of Office of Licensing Provider Code of Conduct;
(iii) verification that the applicant(s) have read and understand R501-12 Foster Care Services;
(iv) health statement including new medical reference form if there has been significant health changes over the past year;
(v) proof of current CPR/first aid certification;
(vi) background screening applications for each adult 18 years of age or older residing in the home or any substitute care providers not identified as incidental caregivers. A foster parent shall not be licensed or certified unless the background screening applications of all persons 18 years of age or older who reside in the home are approved by the Office of Licensing in compliance with Section 62A-2-120 and R501-14;
(vii) financial statement outlining changes to household income, job status, and expenses, including any foreclosures and/or bankruptcies.
(A) The Office of Licensing or Agency may consider poverty guidelines when evaluating the dependence of a foster parent on foster payments for their own expenses.
(B) The Office of Licensing or [
a]gency may require supporting documentation of household
income and expenses in order to verify the foster parent will not
be dependent on foster care reimbursement for their own
(b) The home study shall be updated in writing annually after a home visit and safety inspection and shall be completed by an adoptions service provider as described in 78B-6-128(2)(c) as a means to assess the family's experience over the past year as a foster family and shall include:
(i) any changes to required home study information; and
(ii) interviews with any members of the home.
(7) Reapplication: A previously licensed or certified foster home is subject to the same requirements as an initial application, with the following exceptions:
(a) Each applicant shall disclose all previous foster care licenses and certifications, including those outside the State of Utah.
(b) Previously licensed homes shall request a written reference from the DCFS region, or out-of-state equivalent, where they last held a foster care license to be sent directly to the Office of Licensing or Agency. Previously certified homes shall request a written reference letter from the last agency where they were certified, and every agency they have been certified by within the past 3 years, to be sent directly to the Office of Licensing or Agency.
(c) Each applicant shall sign releases of information for any agency where they previously provided certified or licensed foster care.
(d) Reapplication of previously licensed or certified homes may utilize an update of the previous home study as long as the home study was created by the same agency currently relicensing or recertifying the home.
(e) If 12 months or less since lapse of any license or certification, non-agency references will be waived.
(f) If 12 months or less since lapse of any license or certification, physician's statement shall be waived. Personal Health statement is still required.
(g) If 24 months or less since lapse of any license or certification, initial training requirements will be waived as long as there is not a change in licensing/certifying agency. A change in agency requires new initial training.
(8) Approval or Denial:
(a) The decision to approve or deny the applicant to provide foster services shall be made on the basis of facts, health and safety factors, and the professional judgment of the Agency or the Office of Licensing.
(b) No person may be denied a foster care license or certification on the basis of the religion, race, color, or national origin of any individual.
(c) The approval of a license or certification is not a guarantee that a foster child will be placed or retained in the foster parent's home.
(d) Foster parents shall not be licensed or certified to provide foster or respite care services in the same home in which they are providing child care or another licensed or certified Department of Health or Department of Human Services program.
(e) In order to promote health and safety, the Office of Licensing or Agency may issue a license or certification that includes additional restrictions unique to the circumstances of the license.
(f) If a license or certification is denied, an applicant may not reapply for a minimum of 90 days from the date of denial.
(9) Initial license expiration dates must coincide with background screening clearance dates by:
(i) allowing the applicants to resubmit clearances in order to receive a full year's license or;
(ii) setting the initial license expiration date no more than one year from the date of the earliest initial completed background clearance.
R501-12-5. Foster Parent Requirements.
(1) Foster parents shall:
(a) be in good health and emotionally stable;
(b) be able to provide for the physical, social, mental health, and emotional needs of the foster child;
(c) be responsible persons who are 21 years of age or older;
(d) provide documentation of legal residential status;
(e) have the ability to help the foster child thrive;
(f) not be dependent on foster care reimbursement for their own expenses, outside of those expenses directly associated with providing foster care services;
(g) provide updated medical, social, financial, or other family information when requested by the Office of Licensing or Agency;
(h) follow all federal, state and local laws and ordinances; and
(i) not engage in conduct that poses a substantial risk of harm to any person or that is illegal or grounds for denying a license under 62A-2-112.
(2) DHS employees shall not be licensed or certified as foster parents for children in the custody of their respective Divisions, unless they qualify as a "relative" to the child in accordance with Utah Code Ann. Section 78A-6-307. An employee may provide foster services for children in the custody of a different Division only with the prior written approval of both Divisions' Directors in accordance with DHS conflict of interest policy.
(3) Foster parents shall cooperate with the Office of Licensing, Agency, courts, and law enforcement officials.
(4) Each foster parent shall read, acknowledge, and comply with the Office of Licensing Provider Code of Conduct.
(a) A foster parent shall not abuse, neglect, or maltreat a child through any act or omission.
(b) A foster parent shall not encourage or fail to deter the acts or omissions of another that abuse, neglect, or maltreat a child.
(5) No more than two children under the age of two, including children who are members of the household and foster children, shall reside in a foster home.
(6) No more than two non-ambulatory children, including children who are members of the household and foster children, shall reside in a foster home.
(7) Except as provided by Section 62A-2-116.5 and R501-12-5-8, no more than four foster children shall reside in a licensed foster home and no more than three children shall reside in a certified foster home.
(i) The capacity limits of [
[ care licenses]
may be exceeded under the conditions outlined
[ as long as the Office of Licensing determines that the
foster home will remain in compliance with foster care rules in
regards to each child.]
(8) Foster parents may provide respite care in their home as long as they remain in compliance with licensing rules in regards to each child placed for foster and respite care. Foster parents may provide respite care when the additional foster child(ren) exceed their licensed capacity only as follows:
(a) Respite care is limited to a maximum of 10 days within any 30 day period.
(i) For foster children who are not siblings, each day of respite for each individual child counts as one day of respite care.
(ii) For foster children who are siblings, each day of respite for a sibling group receiving respite in the same foster home at the same time counts as one day of respite care.
(b) The foster home must have no licensing sanctions currently imposed, including corrective action plans or conditional licenses.
(c) Total number of foster and respite children in a home at one time shall not exceed six unless all but one or two of the children are part of a single sibling group.
(9) A foster parent shall report all major changes or events to the Office of Licensing or Agency within one business day.
(a) A major change in the lives of foster parents includes, but is not limited to:
(i) the death or serious illness of a member of the foster parent's household;
(ii) change in marital status;
(iii) loss of employment;
(iv) change in household composition, such as the birth or adoption of a child, addition of household members, or tenants;
(v) allegations of abuse or neglect of any child or vulnerable adult against any member of the foster parent's household; or
(vi) anything defined as a "critical incident" in R501-1.
(10) The Office of Licensing or Agency may evaluate major changes to determine necessary actions which may include an update to the home study; implementation of a safety plan; amendments to the license certification; request for new references or examinations; or agency action in the form of a penalty.
(11) A foster parent shall report any potential change in address in advance to the Office or Agency.
(a) Licenses and certifications are site specific.
(b) An adjoining dwelling with a separate address that is not accessible from the foster home is not considered part of the foster home site.
(c) A foster child shall not be moved into a home that is not licensed or certified to provide foster care except as allowed in R501-1 provisions for relocation of a license.
(d) Foster providers must reside at the license location.
(e) In the event of a separation or divorce, a provider who no longer resides at the licensed location shall be removed from the license certificate and must apply for a separate initial license and meet all licensing requirements in the new residence in order to become licensed at the new location.
(i) The provider remaining in the home shall demonstrate the ability to continue to meet the financial and all other foster care licensure requirements and an update to the home study shall be completed.
R501-12-6. Physical Aspects of Home.
(1) All indoor and outdoor areas of the home shall be maintained to ensure a safe physical environment.
(2) The home shall be free from health and fire hazards.
(3) The home shall have a working smoke detector and a working carbon monoxide detector on each separated level.
(4) The home shall have at least one approved, fully charged fire extinguisher readily accessible to the main living area. An approved fire extinguisher shall be a minimum of 2A:10BC five point, rated multi-purpose, dry chemical fire extinguisher.
(5) Each bathroom shall have a lock sufficient to preserve the privacy of the occupant.
(6) The home shall have sufficient bedroom space to provide for the following:
(a) a bedroom shall not be shared by children of the opposite sex unless each child sharing the room is under two years of age;
(b) a foster parent's bedroom may only be shared with foster children who are under the age of two years;
(c) a foster parent's bedroom shall not be considered in calculating the allowable bedroom space for foster children;
(d) a foster child shall not share a bedroom with other adults in the home;
(e) each child in foster care must have an individual bed/crib, mattress, and linens that meet the child's needs and are comparable to other similarly utilized sleeping accommodations in the household;
(f) a minimum of 40 square feet per child, excluding adjoining bathrooms and storage space;
(g) no more than four children are housed in a single bedroom that houses at least one foster child;
(h) bedrooms used for foster children shall be comparable to other similarly utilized bedrooms in the home, including but not limited to access, location, space, finishings, and furnishings; and
(i) bedrooms used by foster children shall have a source of natural light and shall be equipped with a screened window that opens and provides egress to the outdoors.
(7) Closet or dresser space shall be provided within the bedroom for the foster child's personal possessions and for a reasonable degree of privacy.
(8) The home shall have space or access to common areas for recreational activities.
(9) Foster parents shall offer nutritious, balanced meals that meet each foster child's individual needs.
(10) The home shall be maintained at a reasonable temperature when occupied by a foster child. The age and needs of the child and other residents may be considered. Generally, reasonable temperatures range between 65-82 degrees Fahrenheit.
(11) The home shall have a working refrigerator, cooking appliances, and functional indoor plumbing.
(12) Hazards on the property shall be abated. These areas include but are not limited to fall hazards of 3 feet or greater (steep grades, cliffs, open pits, window wells, stairwells, elevated porches, retaining walls, etc), drowning hazards (swimming pools, hot tubs, water features, ponds or streams, etc), burn hazards (fireplaces, candles, radiators, water, etc), unstable heavy items (televisions, bookshelves, etc), high voltage boosters, or dangerous traffic conditions. These hazards shall be mitigated through the use of protective hardware, fences, banisters, railings, grates, natural barriers, or other licensor approved methods.
(13) The home and its contents shall be maintained in a clean and safe condition. Food, clothing, supplies, furniture, and equipment shall be of sufficient quantity, variety, and quality to meet the foster child(ren)'s needs.
(14) Exits: There shall be at least two exits on each accessible floor of the home. Each exit shall be accessible and adequately sized for emergency personnel. Multiple-level homes shall have a functional, automatic fire suppression system or an escape ladder, stairway, or other exterior egress to ground level accessible from each of the upper levels.
(15) Foster parents shall have and use child safety devices appropriate to the needs of the foster child, including but not limited to safety gates and electrical outlet covers.
(16) Home address is clearly visible and location is accessible.
(17) Water and sewage disposal systems other than public systems must be approved by the appropriate authorities.
(18) Swimming pools will be secured in order to prevent unsupervised access and comply with applicable community ordinances.
(19) Foster providers with placements made in the home shall ensure that all physical aspects of the home outlined in this section are compliant at all times.
(20) Foster providers with no placements made in the home shall demonstrate the ability to comply upon request.
(1) A foster parent shall not smoke any substance in the foster home or when a foster child is present. All smoking materials shall be inaccessible to foster children.
(2) Foster parents shall provide training to children regarding response to fire warnings and other instructions for life safety upon the initial placement of a child and annually thereafter. This includes an evacuation plan that also anticipates the evacuation of a child who is non-ambulatory or who has a disability.
(3) The home shall have a telephone on-site during all times that a foster child is present. This may be a land line or a mobile phone, but must be able to receive and make calls and be recognized by the 911 system. Telephone numbers for emergency assistance and the address of the home shall be posted next to the telephone or in a central location visible to the child.
(4) The home shall have a fully supplied first aid kit such as recommended by the American Red Cross.
(5) Foster parents shall inform the Office of Licensing or the Agency if they possess or use a firearm or other weapon.
(6) Firearms, ammunition, and other weapons shall be inaccessible to children. Foster parents shall not provide a weapon to a child or permit a child to possess a weapon except as outlined in Sections 76-10-509 through 76-10-509.7.
(a) Foster parents do not have the authority of a parent or guardian under Section 76-10-509.
(b) Firearms may be stored together with ammunition only in a locked container commercially manufactured for the secure storage of firearms.
(c) Firearms not stored in a locked container commercially manufactured for the secure storage of firearms shall be unloaded and securely locked. Ammunition for these firearms shall be kept securely locked in a separate location.
(i) The locked storage for firearms and ammunition shall not be accessible through the same keys or combinations.
(ii) Keys and combinations utilized to open locked storage for firearms and ammunition shall not be accessible to a foster child.
(d) Firearms may be stored in display cases only if unloaded and rendered inoperable through the effective use of trigger locks, bolts removed, or other disabling methods.
(e) This does not restrict an individual's rights regarding concealed weapons permits pursuant to UC 53-5-704.
(7) Foster parents who have alcoholic beverages in their home shall ensure that the beverages are closely monitored and inaccessible to children at all times.
(8) Hazardous materials shall be stored securely and remain locked when not in active use, and closely monitored while in active use.
(i) Hazardous materials shall be stored in the manufacturer's original packaging together with the manufacturer's directions and warnings; or
(ii) a container that complies with the manufacturer's directions and warnings and is clearly labeled with the contents, manufacturer's directions and warnings.
(9) Flammable substances, including but not limited to gasoline and kerosene, shall be locked in a ventilated storage area separate from living areas. This requirement does not include substances contained within the storage tanks of equipment, including but not limited to automobiles, lawnmowers, ATV's, boats and snow blowers.
(10) General, common use, household items (excluding those identified as hazardous materials) shall be stored responsibly in consideration of the age, behavior, history, and cognitive and physical ability of each foster child in the home. The foster parent is responsible for consulting with the caseworker and child and family team regarding individual restrictions. General, common use, household items include, but are not limited to the following:
(a) oral hygiene products;
(b) hair and cosmetic products;
(c) facial and skin hygiene products;
(e) laundry and dish detergent (excluding concentrated pods);
(f) cleaning wipes;
(g) rubbing alcohol;
(h) nail polish remover;
(i) laundry stain remover;
(j) propane attached to a grill;
(k) air fresheners and deodorizers; and
(l) spray furniture polish.
(11) Foster parents shall comply with all laws regarding the care and number of animals on their property.
(12) Foster parents shall ensure that the foster child has the safety equipment, supervision, and training necessary for the child to safely participate in an activity that has an inherent risk of bodily harm, injury, or death.
(a) These activities include but are not limited to participation in rock climbing, swimming, hunting, target practice, camping, hiking, use of recreational vehicles, and sports.
(b) Every precaution must be taken to participate in the respective activity as safely as possible. This includes, but is not limited to: wearing DOT/Snell approved helmets when riding off-highway vehicles (OHV), completing OHV education, personal watercraft or boating education, wearing Coast Guard approved lifejackets, and completing hunter's education.
(c) Foster parents shall follow any applicable statute pertaining to minors operating OHV's, personal watercraft, boats, and firearms.
(d) Foster parents shall not permit a foster child any access to firearms without first obtaining the written approval of the child's caseworker.
(13) Foster parents shall comply with any written safety plan required by the Office of Licensing or Agency which establishes additional safety requirements to protect the child from hazardous conditions on the foster parent's property. A safety plan shall not waive any requirement of this R501-12.
(14) Verification of compliance with the Utah Department of Health's recommended immunization schedules shall be provided for each individual residing in the home who is not a foster child.
(a) Recommended influenza immunizations are optional unless a foster child in the home has an immunocompromised condition.
(b) If compliance of all residents in the home cannot be verified, the license shall be restricted to only placements of children who are over the age of 2 months and who are immunized in accordance with the Utah Department of Health's recommendations for their age.
(i) Foster parents must disclose if any individual residing in the home is not in compliance with the Utah Department of Health's recommended immunization schedules to the child placing agency prior to accepting a placement.
(ii) Newborn infants must reach the required age and receive their first dose of required vaccinations to be considered appropriately immunized for their age.
(15) Foster parents shall not accept the placement of a child into their home in violation of any license conditions.
R501-12-8. Emergency Plans.
(1) Foster parents shall have a written plan of action for emergencies and disaster to include the following:
(a) evacuation with a pre-arranged site for relocation;
(b) transportation and relocation of foster children when necessary;
(c) supervision of foster children after evacuation or relocation; and
(d) notification of appropriate authorities.
(2) Foster parents shall have a written plan for medical emergencies, including arrangements for medical transportation, treatment and care.
(3) Foster parents shall immediately report any serious illness, injury, or death of a foster child to the appropriate Division or Agency and the Office of Licensing.
R501-12-9. Infectious Disease.
(1) In the event of an infectious or communicable disease outbreak, foster parents shall follow specific instructions given by the local health department.
R501-12-10. Medication and Medical Emergencies.
(1) Foster parents shall ensure that prescribed medication is administered according to the written directions of the foster child's health provider.
(a) Foster parents shall ensure that the foster child actually consumes the medication.
(b) Foster parents shall report any severe or unexpected side effects or reactions to the foster child's health provider.
(2) Medication shall only be given to the foster child for whom it was prescribed.
(3) Medication shall not be discontinued without the approval of the foster child's health provider.
(4) Non-prescription medications may be administered by foster parents according to manufacturer's instructions unless otherwise directed by the child's health provider.
(5) Medications shall not be administered or carried by the foster child unless approved in writing by the child's health provider.
(6) Medication shall not be used for behavior management or restraint unless prescribed in writing by the foster child's health provider and after notification to the Division or Agency worker.
(7) Medication shall remain locked at all times they are not in immediate, active use.
(a) Foster parents shall not leave medications in active use unattended.
(b) If a foster child requires immediate access to the child's medication, including but not limited to a child with asthma or diabetes, foster parents may carry a single dose of medication for active use on the foster parent's person.
(8) Medications shall remain in the original pharmacy or manufacturer's packaging.
(a) Foster parents shall not repackage medications or divide doses into alternative containers.
(b) Foster parents should partner with the pharmacy regarding any needed divisions of medication.
(9) Foster parents shall promptly take a foster child who has a medical emergency, who is sick, or who is injured, for an assessment by a medical practitioner.
(10) Foster parents shall comply with the treatment orders of the foster child's health provider.
(11) When a foster child is no longer placed in the foster parent's home, all unused medications shall be transferred to the caseworker or Agency.
(1) Drivers of vehicles carrying foster child(ren) shall have a valid, current driver's license and valid, current vehicle insurance, and comply with all traffic regulations.
(2) Transportation of foster children shall be provided in an enclosed, registered vehicle that has functional seatbelts. Foster parents shall ensure that foster children properly utilize seatbelts and other safety equipment, including age and size appropriate car/booster seats. Recreational vehicles, including motorcycles, shall not be used for transportation.
(3) Emergency contact information,
including but not limited to caseworker and [
a]gency information, shall be provided and accessible in each
vehicle used to transport foster children.
(4) Each vehicle shall be equipped with a first aid kit.
R501-12-12. Behavior Management.
(1) Foster parents shall provide supervision appropriate to the age and needs of each foster child.
(2) Foster parents shall not use, nor permit the use of corporal punishment including but not limited to physical, mechanical, or chemical restraint, physical force, infliction of bodily harm or pain, deprivation of meals, rest or visits with family, or humiliating or frightening methods to discipline, coerce, punish, or retaliate against a child.
(3) Foster parents shall only use behavior management techniques appropriate for the child's age, behavior, needs, developmental level, and past experiences.
(4) Foster parents shall use the least restrictive method of behavior management available to control a situation.
(5) Foster parents shall only use behavior management techniques that are positive, consistent, and that promote self-control, self-esteem, and independence.
(6) Foster parents shall not use physical work assignments or activities that inflict pain as behavior management techniques. A physical work assignment or activity that results in minor sore muscles does not violate this subsection.
(7) Foster parents shall not abuse, threaten, ridicule, intimidate, or degrade a child.
(8) Foster parents shall not deny a child medical care, nutrition, hydration, clothing, bedding, sleep, or toilet and bathing facilities.
(9) Passive physical restraint shall be applied only by individuals who are trained in accordance with the non-violent intervention strategies of a state, regional, or nationally recognized behavior management program. Documentation of passive physical restraint training certification shall be submitted to the Office of Licensing or Agency with the initial and each renewal application.
R501-12-13. Child's Rights in Foster Care.
(1) Foster parents shall not violate a foster child's right to:
(a) eat nutritious meals with the family;
(b) eat the same food as the family, except when the child is provided with alternative food ordered by the child's physician;
(c) participate in family and school activities;
(d) privacy, including but not limited to maintaining the confidentiality of information about the child and not retaining copies of the child's records once the child is no longer placed there;
(e) be informed of the child's responsibilities, including household tasks, privileges, and rules of conduct;
(f) be protected from discrimination based upon the child's race, color, national origin, culture, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation, or disability;
(g) be protected from harm or acts of violence, including but not limited to protection from physical, verbal, sexual, or emotional abuse, neglect, maltreatment, exploitation, or inhumane treatment;
(h) be treated with courtesy and dignity, including but not limited to reasonable personal privacy and self-expression;
(i) communicate with and visit the child's family, attorney, physician, and clergy, except as restricted by court order;
(j) have clean clothes and personal hygiene needs met;
(k) participate in their own cultural traditions; and
(l) receive prompt medical care when sick or injured.
(m) be free from media content that is likely harmful considering the child's age, behavior, needs, developmental level, and past experiences.
R501-12-14. Additional Child Placing Agency Considerations.
(1) The Agency shall comply with all Office of Licensing rules that relate to their Child Placing Foster license.
(2) The Agency shall comply with Background Screening Rules, R501-14.
(3) The Agency shall recruit, train, certify, and supervise foster parents.
(4) The Agency shall not certify a home which is licensed or certified or applying to be licensed or certified with any other Agency.
(5) Agency owners, directors, managers, and members of the governing body shall not be certified to provide foster care services for children placed with or by the Agency.
(6) The Agency shall verify completion of all of a foster parent's training requirements, including but not limited to CPR/First Aid training and training regarding the requirements of R501-12, prior to issuing an initial or renewal certification and prior to placing a foster child in the home.
(7) The Agency shall train each foster parent regarding the Agency's policies and procedures prior to placing a foster child in the home.
(8) The Agency shall provide the Department with identifying information of all certified foster homes via the DHS/DCFS Provider website located on the Human Services DHS/DCFS Employee website and shall report their list of homes annually and upon request.
(9) The Agency shall maintain documentation of the initial and annual home studies of the foster parent's home.
(10) The Agency must have a written agreement with the foster parent(s) which includes:
(a) the expectations and responsibilities of the Agency, staff, foster parents and limitations of authority;
(b) the services to be provided to and by the foster parent;
(c) the provision of medical, remedial, treatment, and other specialized services to the child;
(d) the financial arrangements for children placed in the home;
(e) the authority foster parents can exercise over children placed in the home; and
(f) actions which require staff or DHS authorizations.
(11) The Agency shall monitor and keep detailed documentation regarding foster parents' compliance with R501-12. (12) The Agency shall document all announced and unannounced visits to the home, including an initial safety inspection and a minimum of one unannounced safety inspection annually in addition to any announced or unannounced visits to the home.
(a) Each safety inspection completed by the Agency shall be documented on the DHS Home Inspection Checklist, or a similar form that contains all of the DHS form contents.
(b) The Agency shall coordinate with the Office when checklist items are not compliant to determine which actions should be taken.
(c) The Agency shall maintain all completed checklists and compliance monitoring documentation in the provider files.
(13) The Agency shall investigate all complaints and alleged violations of this rule. The Agency shall provide documentation to the Office of Licensing of any investigations into complaints and alleged violations of R501-12.
(14) The Agency shall provide written notification to each foster parent that informs the foster parent of the rights and responsibilities assumed by a foster parent who signs as the responsible adult for a foster child to receive a driver license, as described in Section 53-3-211. The Agency shall maintain documentation in the foster parent's file, signed and dated by the foster parent, acknowledging receipt of a copy of this written notification.
(15) The Agency shall have and comply with written policies and procedures regarding the denial, suspension, and revocation of a foster parent's certification to provide foster care services, which must include written notification of the foster parent's appeal process.
(16) The Agency shall provide documentation to the Office of Licensing and DCFS of any denial, suspension, revocation or other agency-initiated termination of a foster parent's certification. Documentation shall be provided within two weeks of the action.
(17) The Agency shall not grant any variance to this R501-12 or any other regulation without the prior written consent of the Director of the Office of Licensing.
(18) The Agency shall certify foster parent(s) for a specific time period that does not exceed one year prior to placing any foster children in the home. Documentation of certification dates shall be made available to the Office of Licensing as requested.
(19) The Agency shall provide ongoing supervision of certified foster parents to ensure the quality of care they provide.
(20) The Agency shall participate with the child's legal guardian and the foster home to obtain, coordinate, and supervise care and services necessary to meet the needs of each child in their care.
R501-12-15. Additional DCFS Kinship and Specified Home Licensure Considerations.
(1) An applicant may be licensed for the placement of a specific foster child or sibling group.
(2) The home study shall be conducted by an approved DCFS kinship home study specialist or by the Office of Licensing.
(3) A minimum of two reference letters received must be acceptable to the Agency or the Office of Licensing.
(4) The home study safety inspection and background screening approvals shall be successfully completed prior to the placement of the child in the home.
(5) The Office shall grant a kinship/specific probationary license upon receipt and approval of a completed kinship/specific packet submitted by DCFS.
(a) The kinship/specific probationary license shall be issued for no more than five months until full compliance can be achieved in order to receive an initial license for the remainder of the licensing year.
(b) An initial license may be issued at any time that compliance with probationary terms is met.
(c) A probationary license whose terms are not met prior to the expiration of that license shall be extended in corrective or penalty status.
(d) Initial license expiration dates shall be determined per R501-12-4-9.
(6) A kinship/specific home license may not be utilized for the placement of any foster child other than the child designated on the license, and may not be utilized for respite care.
(7) If a kinship/specific home desires to provide general foster care services, they will close their specific license and submit to the requirements of a general foster care license.
(8) The Office of Licensing recognizes the importance of preserving family and cultural connections for children in foster care. In accordance with 62A-2-117.5 and the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Office of Licensing may issue a waiver of any rule in regards to a kinship/specific home that does not impact the health and safety of the specific child or sibling group. This requires prior written approval by the Director of the Office of Licensing.
Any active license on the effective date
of this rule shall be given 30 days to achieve compliance with this
with the exception of R501-12-7(14) which will be given 60
days to achieve compliance].
KEY: licensing, human services, foster care, certified foster care
Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment:
Notice of Continuation: October 4, 2017
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 62A-2-101 et seq.
More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.
The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2018/b20180515.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.
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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Janice Weinman at the above address, by phone at 385-321-5586, by FAX at 801-538-4553, or by Internet E-mail at email@example.com; Samantha Hanson at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4041, by FAX at , or by Internet E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; Jonah Shaw at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4225, by FAX at 801-538-3942, or by Internet E-mail at email@example.com. For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Office of Administrative Rules.