Utah Department of Administrative Services Division of Administrative Rules

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 April 1, 2016, 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 R512-500. Kinship Services, Placement and Background Screening.

As in effect on April 1, 2016

Table of Contents

R512-500-1. Purpose and Authority.

(1) The purpose of this rule is to establish standards for kinship placement for a child who is in Child and Family Services custody, including Preliminary Placement, evaluation of kinship caregiver capacity for ongoing care, and background screening.

(2) This rule is authorized by Sections 62A-4a-102, 62A-4a-209, 78A-6-307, and 78A-6-307.5.

R512-500-2. Definitions.

(1) "Abuse" is defined in Section 78A-6-105.

(2) "Child" is defined in Section 62A-4a-101.

(3) "Child and Family Services" means the Division of Child and Family Services, Department of Human Services.

(4) "Child and Family Team" has the same meaning as defined in Rule R512-301.

(5) "Friend" means an adult the child knows and is comfortable with, other than a non-custodial parent or relative as defined in Section 78A-6-307. A friend who is not licensed as a foster parent and who is designated a preference for care of a child by a custodial parent or guardian in accordance with Section 62A-4a-209, must be willing to become a licensed foster parent.

(6) "Kinship caregiver" means a non-custodial parent or relative, as defined in this section, who is selected for placement and care of a child in Child and Family Services custody.

(7) "Neglect" is defined in Section 78A-6-105.

(8) "Non-custodial parent" is a natural parent as defined in Section 78A-6-307 who is a biological or adoptive mother, an adoptive father, or a biological father who was married to the child's biological mother at the time the child was conceived or born, or who has had paternity established, who has not been granted legal custody of the child.

(9) "Non-relative" is defined in Section 62A-4a-209.

(10) "Preliminary Placement" means an out-of-home placement with a non-custodial parent, relative, or with a friend who is either a licensed foster parent or is willing to become a licensed foster parent, which is referred to in statute as an emergency placement with a non-custodial parent or relative as authorized in Section 62A-4a-209 or a post-shelter hearing placement with a non-custodial parent, relative, or friend as authorized in Section 78A-6-307.5.

(11) "Relative" is defined in Section 78A-6-307 as the child's "grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, great-aunt, uncle, great-uncle, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepparent, first cousin, stepsibling, sibling of the child, a first cousin of the child's parent, or an adult who is an adoptive parent of the child's sibling." For a Native American child, relative also includes "extended family members" as defined by the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), 25 USC 1903, which is "by the law or custom of the Native American child's tribe or, in the absence of such law or custom, shall be a person who has reached the age of eighteen and who is the Native American child's grandparent, aunt, or uncle, brother or sister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, niece or nephew, first or second cousin, or stepparent."

(12) "Severe type of child abuse or neglect" is defined in Section 62A-4a-1002.

(13) "Sibling" is defined as a child who has the same biological parent or adoptive parent as the child.

(14) "Substantiated" is defined in Section 62A-4a-101.

(15) "Supported" is defined in Section 62A-4a-101.

R512-500-3. Philosophy.

(1) All children need permanency through enduring relationships that provide stability, familiarity, and support for the culture of the child; support the child's sense of self based on existing attachments; provide for the child's safety and physical care; and connect the child to their past, present, and future through continuing family relationships. First priority is to maintain a child safely at home. However, if a child cannot safely remain at home, kinship care has the potential for providing these elements of permanency by virtue of the kin's knowledge of and relationship to the family and child.

(2) All kinship work is done in the context of a Child and Family Team. Kinship care includes elements of child protection, in-home services, family preservation, and out-of-home care. When a child cannot safely remain home, kinship care is preferable to other out-of-home placements if the kinship caregiver can keep the child safe and appropriately meet the child's needs.

(3) The caregiver's willingness and ability to care for and keep the child safe are fundamental. The kinship caregiver must have or acquire knowledge of the child, be able to meet the child's needs, support reunification efforts, and be able to provide the child access to parents, siblings, and other family members through visits or caring for the child and siblings as a group.

(4) Ongoing assessment of the child's safety, permanence, and well-being is important to the stability and value of kinship care. Ongoing assessment of safety is based on the components of safety decision-making, which include threats of harm, vulnerabilities of the child, and protective capacities of the kinship caregiver and their support system.

(5) Providing for kinship care in the Child and Family Services spectrum of services requires active efforts to identify and locate kin families with whom children may form or continue relationships at home or in temporary or permanent placements. Support to kinship caregivers is essential to the success of the child's placement with the family and to the family's ability to respond to the needs of the child. As members of the Child and Family Team, kinship caregivers will seek support from other family members and from informal and formal supports to provide for the child.

R512-500-4. Preferences for Placement.

(1) The following order of preference shall be used when determining the placement of a child in the custody of Child and Family Services, and is subject to the child's best interest:

(a) A non-custodial parent of the child in accordance with Section 78A-6-307;

(b) A relative of the child, including the adoptive parent of the child's sibling;

(c) A friend who is a licensed foster parent, designated by the custodial parent or guardian of the child;

(d) A friend not licensed as a foster parent, designated by the custodial parent or guardian of the child, who is willing to become licensed within six months of the child being placed with them;

(e) A former out-of-home care placement; and

(f) A shelter facility or other out-of-home care placement designated by Child and Family Services.

(2) Preferential consideration given in accordance with Section 78A-6-307 to kinship caregivers or friends who are licensed or who become licensed expires 120 days from the date of the shelter hearing. After that time period has expired, a relative or friend who has not obtained custody or asserted an interest in the child may not be granted preferential consideration by Child and Family Services or the court. Prospective kinship caregivers or friends may be considered for placement after the 120 days has lapsed, if it is in the best interest of the child.

(3) A potential caregiver who meets the definition of friend and who is not a licensed foster parent must be designated by the custodial parent or guardian to provide care for the child. The friend must be willing to become a licensed foster parent, must be actively engaged in the process of becoming a licensed foster parent within 60 days of the child being placed with them, and must complete all requirements of the Department of Human Services, Office of Licensing to obtain a child-specific foster care license within six months of a child being placed with them in order for a child in the custody of Child and Family Services to be placed with them and to remain in the friend's care. Furthermore, if the child remains in the custody of Child and Family Services placed in the home of the friend, the friend must comply with all Office of Licensing requirements to receive ongoing licensure as a foster parent prior to the child-specific license expiring, or the child will be removed from the friend's care.

R512-500-5. Preliminary Placement.

(1) The requirements specified in Section 62A-4a-209 must be met for Preliminary Placement of a child with a kinship caregiver.

(2) A decision to make a Preliminary Placement of a child with a kinship caregiver will include assessment of the kinship caregiver's willingness and ability to care for a child and to keep the child safe, a limited home inspection, and background screening.

(3) A kinship caregiver must meet the background screening requirements specified in Rule R512-500-7.

(4) Assessment of safety will be based on safety decision-making principles, which include:

(a) Potential threats of harm;

(b) Vulnerabilities of the child; and

(c) Protective capacities of the potential kinship caregiver and their support system.

(5) The limited home inspection specified in Section 62A-4a-209 is required for a non-custodial parent, relative, or friend. The limited home inspection is conducted in the home of the prospective kinship caregiver to determine if there are apparent safety risks in the home that present a potential threat of harm to the child. The limited home inspection determines if the following are met:

(a) The home is free from observable health and fire hazards.

(b) There are adequate sleeping arrangements to meet the specific needs of each child.

(c) Any firearms, ammunition, hazardous chemicals, and/or medications are secured and not accessible to children.

(6) References may be contacted to obtain input regarding placing the child with the potential kinship caregiver or information about other available relatives or friends who may care for the child.

R512-500-6. Evaluation of Capacity for Ongoing Care of a Child.

(1) The Child and Family Team will determine the most appropriate caregiver to meet the ongoing and permanency needs of the child.

(a) Since the Preliminary Placement is made in an emergency situation they may or may not be the most appropriate caregiver to meet the ongoing and permanency needs of the child.

(b) The ongoing caregiver may be the kinship caregiver who is the Preliminary Placement or may be a different prospective caregiver.

(2) Child and Family Services will evaluate with the prospective caregiver their capacity for ongoing care of the child as well as permanency if reunification efforts are not successful. The components of the evaluation process include:

(a) The child-specific home study, including:

(i) Results of the background screening specified in R512-500-7;

(ii) Obtaining positive written references from three different people known to the kinship caregiver expressing the referent's opinion about the family's ability to care for the child;

(iii) Physical and emotional ability of the kinship caregiver to provide adequate care for the child;

(iv) Understanding of family dynamics and how placement will impact relationships within the family;

(v) Ability to provide for the child's safety and well-being needs and to support a plan for permanency;

(vi) Analysis of the type of resources and support needed by the kinship caregiver to care for the child.

(vii) Ability of the home to meet required safety standards of the Office of Licensing.

(b) Providing information to the kinship caregiver to assist with considering options for ongoing care of the child, including:

(i) Educating the kinship caregiver of the expectations of caring for a child who is under the jurisdiction of the court.

(ii) Assessing the resources that may be available to assist the kinship caregiver in providing a stable placement for the child.

(iii) Becoming a licensed out-of-home care placement for the child.

(iv) Requesting temporary custody and guardianship from the court.

R512-500-7. Background Screening.

(1) Background Screening Procedure for Preliminary Placements.

(a) In order for a non-custodial parent, relative, or friend to be considered for Preliminary Placement of a child, background screening must be completed that meets the requirements of Sections 62A-4a-209, 78A-6-307, and 78A-6-308. If any non-relative adults live in the household, applicable background screening requirements in Sections 62A-4a-209, 78A-6-307, and 78A-6-308 must be met.

(b) A non-custodial parent or relative and all persons 18 years of age and older living in the household must provide the following information in order for background screening to be conducted:

(i) Full first, middle, last, maiden, alias, and all previous married names.

(ii) Social Security number, if a number has been issued.

(iii) Proof of identity verified by a government-issued photo identification.

(iv) Date of birth.

(2) Background Screening Procedure for Ongoing Care of a Child.

(a) As part of the evaluation of capacity for ongoing care of a child, in addition to background screening required for Preliminary Placement, anyone over the age of 18 years in the home must complete an FBI fingerprint-based criminal history records check.

(b) A Utah child abuse registry check will be completed or all persons over the age of 18 years residing in the home. If any person 18 years of age or older residing in the home has lived out of the state of Utah in the five years immediately preceding the date of the application, a child abuse and neglect registry check must be completed for any state in which the individual resided.

(c) All persons 18 years of age and older living in the household must provide the following information on a form provided by Child and Family Services in order for background screening to be conducted:

(i) Full first, middle, last, maiden, alias, and all previous married names.

(ii) Social Security number, if a number has been issued.

(iii) Proof of identity verified by a government-issued photo identification.

(iv) Date of birth.

(v) The potential kinship caregiver and applicable adults living in the household shall provide fingerprints from an authorized law enforcement agency or designated electronic scanning site.

(vi) If the applicant has lived outside of Utah in the five years preceding the date of the application, a list of the states the applicant has lived in will be provided.

KEY

child welfare, kinship

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

September 8, 2015

Notice of Continuation

April 8, 2013

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

62A-4a-102; 62A-4a-105; 62A-4a-209; 78A-6-307; 78A-6-307.5; 78A-6-308


Additional Information

Contact

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.