Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since January 1, 2020, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.

R512. Human Services, Child and Family Services.

Rule R512-1. Description of Division Services, Eligibility, and Service Access.

As in effect on January 1, 2020

Table of Contents

R512-1-1. Purpose and Authority.

(1) The purpose of this rule is to clarify the scope of services the Division of Child and Family Services (Child and Family Services) provides to families in Utah.

(2) This rule is authorized by Section 62A-4a-102.

R512-1-2. Introduction.

(1) Pursuant to Sections 62A-4a-103 and 62A-4a-105, Child and Family Services is authorized to provide programs and services that support the strengthening of family values, including services that preserve and enhance family life and relationships; protect children, youth, and families; and advocate and defend family values established by public policy and advocacy and education.

(2) Child Welfare Services shall be made available for children who are abused, neglected, exploited, abandoned; for those whose parents are unable to care for them; and for the assisting of youth who are ungovernable or who are runaways. Domestic violence services shall be made available to assist adult victims who have been abused or threatened by their partners.

(3) Child and Family Services shall provide protective services, services given in the family home, short-term temporary crisis placement services, out-of-home placements, and adoption services. The "Best Interest of the Child" shall be the guiding principle used in making decisions for those served by Child and Family Services.

(4) The programs administered by Child and Family Services have been established to help children remain with their families, to solve problems in their homes, and, if that is not possible, to place them in out-of-home care for as short a time as possible. When Child and Family Services finds that return of a child to the family will never be possible, adoption or guardianship shall be sought to ensure a permanent family for the child. Domestic violence services shall provide comprehensive assistance to adult victims of domestic violence, their dependent children, and in some cases, to the abusive partner so that families can be restored to harmony or helped to develop new, more productive ways of life.

(5) Child and Family Services shall provide its services through local offices situated throughout the state. These offices are listed in telephone directories under Utah State Department of Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services and also on Child and Family Services' website.

(6) The State Office of Child and Family Services located in Salt Lake City shall operate as the central office to administer Child Welfare programs, which include:

(a) Program planning,

(b) Practice guideline development,

(c) Training and consultation,

(d) Program financing,

(e) Administration of the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children (ICPC) and the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA),

(f) Legislative and federal liaison, and

(g) Information and referral.

R512-1-3. Prevention Services.

Child and Family Services will either provide for, or contract for, any of several child abuse and neglect prevention services. Most prevention services shall be provided and funded according to the requirements of Section 62A-4a-309, known as the Children's Account legislation.

R512-1-4. Intervention Services.

(1) Protective Services. Child abuse and neglect investigation and services shall be provided to eligible clients. All referrals received alleging child abuse and neglect will be screened for assessment and/or investigation in accordance with the provisions of Section 62A-4a-409. Child and Family Services' caseworkers recognize that parents have the right, obligation, responsibility, and authority to raise, manage, train, educate, provide for, and reasonably discipline their children. They also recognize that removal affects these rights, creating a long-term impact on children. Child and Family Services' caseworkers are dedicated to maintaining children with their family when circumstances and services can make it safe for the children to remain home. Child and Family Services will determine whether or not a child has been abused or neglected, or is in danger thereof, and shall take necessary action to protect the child from potential danger. Temporary care of children in crisis placements may be provided when children cannot be returned home due to the likelihood of further abuse or neglect. The parents of a child in a crisis placement will be kept informed of the child's health and safety and will be involved in developing plans for themselves and their child. If parents desire to visit their child in a crisis placement, staff will arrange, as appropriate, visits with the child at the location designated by staff. Assessment and treatment services will be provided to victims of child sexual abuse and their families.

(a) Access. Investigations and/or assessments will be conducted using all appropriate referrals of alleged child abuse or neglect.

(b) Eligibility. A report of occurrence of child abuse or that a child is at risk thereof will constitute sufficient eligibility.

(2) Youth Services. Short-term crisis counseling services and shelter to runaway, homeless, and ungovernable youth and their families may be provided in order to stabilize the family.

(a) Access. Any youth, family, or other agency can access services defined in this rule, as long as the child is determined to be homeless, ungovernable, or a runaway.

(b) Eligibility. Youth who are either homeless or ungovernable or who have run away shall be eligible.

R512-1-5. In-Home Services.

(1) In-Home Services. Child and Family Services may offer services to families whose children are in their own homes, yet who are at risk of or who have suffered from abuse or neglect. Services will be voluntary or court ordered, and shall be intensive to avoid unnecessary placement of children in protective custody. These services may include child day care, protective supervision, and services for the preservation of families.

(a) Access. Referrals can be made from Child Protective Services or from Juvenile Court and other agencies.

(b) Eligibility. A family must be determined to be in a state of crisis and children shall be at risk of abuse or neglect.

(2) Domestic Violence Services. For adult victims of domestic violence and their minor children, shelter care facilities may be provided in order to protect the adult victim and their children from further violence. Short-term counseling may be provided to the family while in shelter, and treatment services may be offered to the perpetrator of the abuse in order to stop the violence and maintain the family as a unit. Children of abused partners eligible for domestic violence services may receive child care without a fee as part of the protective services provided to the family.

(a) Access. The adult victim of family violence shall have access to the services listed above by requesting protection or by referral.

(b) Eligibility. The only eligibility factor is that the adult victim shall have been abused by their partner or some other member of the family. The perpetrator may be assessed, through court order, for the costs of Child and Family Services providing these services.

R512-1-6. Out-of-Home Care Services.

(1) The following definitions apply to this section:

(a) "Cohabiting" means residing with another person and being involved in a sexual relationship.

(b) "Involved in a sexual relationship" means any sexual activity and conduct between persons.

(c) "Residing" means living in the same household on an uninterrupted or an intermittent basis.

(2) Foster care and group care. Child placement services may be provided when parents are unable to meet their children's needs within the family. Child and Family Services has authority to place a child when the state has been granted custody through a court order, or when a voluntary agreement has been signed by the parents, or when the child is from another state and is covered by the ICPC. The intent of foster care or group care is to insure a permanent home for each child. This may be achieved through a return to the home, or through adoption, guardianship, or individualized permanency services. A permanency plan for each foster child, defining the goal and steps to be taken to achieve permanency, shall be formulated. Periodic reviews shall be held at least once every six months to assess progress achieved within the permanency plan, and to project a likely date for returning the child to the family home or to another permanent home arrangement. A dispositional hearing shall be held every 12 months from the date of placement to determine the future status of the child. Foster care shall be provided in licensed family homes. Legally married couples and individuals who are not cohabiting and are blood relatives of the child in the custody of Child and Family Services may be foster parents. Group care shall be provided in licensed facilities which offer a more structured treatment environment than a family home. Foster homes are licensed in accordance with Rule R501-12. Residential Treatment Programs, also known as group homes, are licensed in accordance with Rule R501-19.

(a) Access. Referrals can be made from Child Protective Services or from Juvenile Court and other agencies. Parents can request placement services by contacting the local Child and Family Services office. Referrals for foster care or group care may be screened to determine whether placement is the best option. In most cases, services that are intended to prevent placement must first be provided, before foster care or group care will be considered by Child and Family Services.

(b) Eligibility. Temporary child custody must be given to the state by court order, or by voluntary agreement, and most parents shall be obligated to pay support while their child is in foster care. Youth can be served in foster care or group care until age 18 years, or until age 21 years when ordered by the court.

(3) Transition to Adult Living. Services may be given to older teenage foster children to teach self-sufficiency skills in order to increase their ability to be self-reliant in the future. Some who do not return to living with their parents upon leaving foster care will be allowed to live on their own. All foster children age 14 years and older shall be required to be working toward at least one objective in developing independent living skills in their permanency plans.

(a) Access. Access shall be given only by a referral from the foster care caseworker.

(b) Eligibility. Foster children who are at least 14 years old and who are in the custody of the state shall be eligible.

(4) Adoption. This service provides adoptive homes for children in custody of the state who are legally available because the birth parents have been permanently deprived of parental rights by court action, or who have voluntarily relinquished their children for adoption.

(a) The choice of an adoptive home is based on the best interests of the child.

(b) Adults who are residents of Utah who wish to adopt a child in Utah State custody may apply to the Utah Foster Care Foundation for consideration.

(c) Adults who are residents of other states who wish to adopt a child in Utah State custody must meet the standards to adopt a child in their state custody as well as to comply with ICPC requirements.

(d) Children whose special needs make it more difficult to find appropriate adoptive homes may be eligible for adoption assistance, which may include Medicaid and a monthly subsidy payment based on federal qualifying factors.

(e) To be eligible, the child must be in custody of the state and be legally freed for adoption, and the court must determine that adoption is the best permanency option for the child. Persons approved to be adoptive parents must meet certain standards before approval based on Rule R512-41. Authorization of adoption assistance for children with special needs shall be determined by Child and Family Services based on federal law.

(5) Provider Services. Persons applying to be foster care or emergency care parents shall be given information and a home study will be completed. For those approved as meeting program standards, basic training will be provided, as well as any additional training that may be required for some types of care. Annual reapproval is required.

(a) Access. Persons interested in becoming foster parents or who wish to provide emergency care, such as crisis placements, may apply at the Utah Foster Care Foundation.

(b) Eligibility. Any adult may apply for consideration. Persons approved to be providers must meet certain standards before approval is granted.

R512-1-7. Collection of Fees.

Child and Family Services' regional office staff shall collect any assessed fees for services. Failure of a family to pay the assessed fee may result in the termination of the service and a referral to the Office of Recovery Services for collection. For hardship situations, a fee reduction can be considered by the director of Child and Family Services.

R512-1-8. Civil Rights and Due Process.

Child and Family Services shall comply with the Department of Human Services policy of Civil Rights. Child and Family Services seeks to provide equal opportunity and to insure due process in all actions taken pursuant to these rules. Consumers have the right to be notified about decisions made about their eligibility for any service that is requested and received through Child and Family Services, and to request a hearing if they disagree with any decision. Notice of a decision shall be sent by Child and Family Services when an application for service or a service payment is denied, or if a service is reduced or terminated. Consumers must make a request for any hearings regarding services and decisions specified in this rule in writing.


social services, child welfare, domestic violence, eligibility

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

June 15, 2015

Notice of Continuation

October 13, 2016

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

62A-4a-102; 62A-4a-103; 62A-4a-105

Additional Information


For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R512, please contact the promulgating agency (Human Services, Child and Family Services). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.