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 R512-202. Child Protective Services, General Allegation Categories.

As in effect on January 1, 2020

Table of Contents

R512-202-1. Purpose and Authority.

(1) The purpose of this rule is to provide information about the allegation categories used by the Division of Child and Family Services (Child and Family Services).

(2) Pursuant to Section 62A-4a-105, Child and Family Services is authorized to provide Child Protective Services (CPS).

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

R512-202-2. Categories.

(1) Qualification for Services.

(a) The Child and Family Services worker receiving or investigating a report of child abuse, neglect, or dependency shall categorize the information into an allegation category. Severe and chronic categories of abuse and neglect are found in Sections 62A-4a-101 and 62A-4a-1002. This rule contains the allegation categories that are not severe or chronic.

(2) Referral and Investigation Allegation Categories for Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency.

(a) Abuse: Non-accidental harm or threatened harm of a child or sexual exploitation or sexual abuse as described in Section 78A-6-105 and Rule R512-80. Abuse does not include reasonable discipline or management of a child including withholding privileges, or the use of reasonable and necessary physical restraint or force on a child in self-defense, defense of others, to protect the child, or to remove a weapon in the possession of a child. Abuse includes the following:

(i) Child Endangerment: Subjecting a child to threatened harm. This also includes conduct described in:

(A) Section 76-5-112, recklessly engaging in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to a child, or

(B) Section 76-5-112.5, knowing or intentionally causing or permitting a child to be exposed to, inhale, ingest, or have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia. "Exposed to" means the child is able to access or view an unlawfully possessed controlled substance or chemical substance, has reasonable capacity to access drug paraphernalia, or is able to smell an odor produced during or as a result of the manufacture or production of a controlled substance.

(ii) Dealing in Material Harmful to a Child: Distributing (providing or transferring possession), exhibiting (showing), or allowing immediate access to material harmful to a child or any other conduct constituting an offense under Sections 76-10-1201 through 76-10-1206.

(iii) Domestic Violence Related Child Abuse: Domestic violence between cohabitants in the presence of a child. It may be an isolated incident or a pattern of conduct (see Rule R512-205).

(iv) Emotional Abuse: Engaging in conduct or threatening a child with conduct that causes or can reasonably be expected to cause the child emotional harm. This includes demeaning or derogatory remarks that affect or can reasonably be expected to affect a child's development of self and social competence; or threatening harm, rejecting, isolating, terrorizing, ignoring, or corrupting the child.

(v) Fetal Exposure to Alcohol or other Harmful Substances: A condition in which a child has been exposed to or is dependent upon harmful substances as a result of the mother's use of illegal substances or abuse of prescribed medications during pregnancy, or the child has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

(vi) Pediatric Condition Falsification (formerly Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy): A cluster of symptoms or signs, circumstantially related, in which the parent or guardian misrepresents information and/or simulates or produces illness in a child, has knowledge about the etiology of the child's illness but denies such knowledge, seeks multiple medical procedures, or acute symptoms and signs of the illness cease when the child is separated from the parent or guardian. A Pediatric Condition Falsification supported finding must be supported by the child's primary care physician or other medical professional's opinion. (May also be referred to as Medical Child Abuse or Factitious Disorder.)

(vii) Physical Abuse: Non-accidental physical harm or threatened physical harm of a child that may or may not be visible. Unexplained physical harm to an infant, toddler, disabled, or non-verbal child. Physical abuse may also include a child who suffered physical harm during a domestic violence episode. Physical harm includes "physical injury" and/or "serious physical injury" as defined in Section 76-5-109.

(viii) Sexual Abuse: An act or attempted act of sexual intercourse, sodomy, incest, or molestation directed toward a child as described in Section 78A-6-105.

(b) Neglect: An action or inaction that causes abandonment of a child, except a safe relinquishment of a newborn child as provided in Section 62A-4a-802; lack of proper parental care by reason of the fault or habits of the parent, guardian, or custodian; failure or refusal of a parent, guardian, or custodian to provide proper or necessary subsistence, education, or medical care, or any other care necessary for the child's health, safety, morals, or well-being; a child at risk of being neglected or abused because another child in the same home is neglected or abused (see Section 78A-6-105 and Rule R512-80). Neglect includes abandonment, educational neglect, environmental neglect, failure to protect, failure to thrive, medical neglect, non-supervision, physical neglect, and sibling at risk.

(i) Abandonment: Except in the case of the safe relinquishment of a newborn child pursuant to Section 62A-4a-802, conduct by either a parent or legal guardian showing a conscious disregard for parental obligations, where that disregard leads to the destruction of the parent/child relationship. Abandonment also arises when a parent:

(A) Although having legal custody of the child, has surrendered physical custody of the child, and for a period of six months following the surrender has not manifested to the child or to the person having the physical custody of the child a firm intention to resume physical custody or to make arrangements for the care of the child;

(B) Has failed to communicate with the child by mail, telephone, or otherwise for six months;

(C) Failed to have shown the normal interest of a natural parent, without just cause; or

(D) Has abandoned an infant as described in Section 78A-6-316.

(ii) Educational Neglect: Failure or refusal to make a good faith effort to ensure that a child receives an appropriate education, after receiving notice that the child has been frequently absent from school without good cause or that the parent has failed to cooperate with school authorities in a reasonable manner in accordance with Sections 78A-6-105 and 78A-6-319.

(iii) Environmental Neglect: An environment that poses an unreasonable risk to the physical health or safety of a child.

(iv) Failure to Protect: Failure to take reasonable action to remedy or prevent child abuse or neglect. Failure to protect includes the conduct of a non-abusive parent or guardian who knows the identity of the abuser or the person neglecting the child but lies, conceals, or fails to report the abuse or neglect or the alleged perpetrator's identity.

(v) Failure to Thrive: A medically diagnosed condition in which the child fails to develop physically. This condition is typically indicated by inadequate weight gain.

(vi) Medical Neglect: Failure or refusal to provide proper medical, dental, or mental health care or to comply with the recommendations of a medical, dental, or mental health professional necessary to the child's health, safety, or well-being. Exceptions and limitations provided in Section 78A-6-105 include:

(A) A parent or guardian legitimately practicing religious beliefs and who, for that reason, does not provide specified medical treatment for a child.

(B) A health care decision made for a child by the child's parent or guardian does not constitute neglect unless clear and convincing evidence shows that the health care decision is not reasonable and informed. Nothing may prohibit a parent or guardian from exercising the right to obtain a second health care opinion per Section 78A-6-301.5.

(vii) Non-Supervision: The child is subjected to accidental harm or an unreasonable risk of accidental harm due to failure to supervise the child's activities at a level consistent with the child's age and maturity.

(viii) Physical Neglect: Failure to provide for a child's basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, or other care necessary for the child's health, safety, morals, or well-being.

(ix) Sibling or Child at Risk: A child who is at risk of being abused or neglected because another child in the same home or with the same caregiver has been or is abused or neglected.

(c) Dependency: The condition of a child who is homeless or without proper care through no fault of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian as described in Section 62A-4a-101 and Rule R512-80. Dependency may be due to a lack of understanding by the child's parent or guardian as a result of a lack of education or due to a mental, emotional, or physical disability. Dependency may also be due to a parent or guardian's lack of economic resources, or the institutionalization of a parent or guardian.

(d) Safe Relinquishment of a Newborn Child: A parent or a parent's designee may safely relinquish a newborn child at a hospital in accordance with the requirements of Section 62A-4a-802 and retain anonymity, as long as the newborn child has not been subjected to abuse or neglect.


social services, child welfare, domestic violence, child abuse

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

October 22, 2015

Notice of Continuation

February 15, 2018

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

62A-4a-102; 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.