Frequently Asked Questions

The Utah Youth in Custody Program provides education to children who are in the care of the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), Division of Juvenile Justice (JJS) or in a juvenile detention facility.

Education funding is appropriated to individual school districts that provide education programs for youth from kindergarten to 12th grade. For more information about the YIC program, please visit the Utah State Office’s Website on Youth in Custody.

No. School districts or charter schools must apply for YIC funds and the funds are allocated based on the number of YIC students in the district. School districts or charter schools may subcontract with local non-district educational service providers for the provision of educational services.
There is a continuum of educational placements available to children in care. Placements are tailored to the needs of the child. School districts provide teachers in secure, residential treatment and mainstream school settings to meet a variety of needs. Districts also provide mentors to support students in care.

Click Here to see list of YIC programs, contact names, numbers, and locations.

It depends on the type of placement. If DCFS has custody of a child placed in a preliminary placement or in the home of a kinship caregiver who is a licensed foster parent, the children are eligible for Youth in Custody education services. A child placed with a kinship caregiver who has legal custody of the child is not eligible for participation in YIC programs.

Important Info
If the school is unsure whether the child is eligible to participate in YIC programs, they should contact the caseworker. If the child is initially eligible to participate in YIC programs, the caseworker should keep educational staff informed of changes in the custody status of the child.

The Utah Juvenile Court, Utah State Office of Education and the Department of Human Services are committed to ensuring that the educational needs of youth in care are met. A data sharing code (53A-1-1409) between all three agencies went into effect on May 10, 2016. Click here for a copy of the statute.

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The Utah Division of Child and Family Services protects children from abuse, neglect, or dependency and serves families experiencing domestic violence.

Caseworker:

Each child in the care of DCFS has a caseworker assigned to them. The caseworker coordinates services for the child.

Since a court has granted care of the child to DCFS, the caseworker is the legal custodian or guardian of the child.

  • Out-of-Home Caregiver: When a court removes a child from their home, they are placed with an out-of-home caregiver who may be a relative, a foster parent, or, in some cases, a residential or group home facility.
  • Nurse: Each child has a nurse assigned to them from the Department of Health, Fostering Healthy Children Program, who coordinates their health, dental, and mental health care needs.
  • Juvenile Court Judge: A judge presides at court hearings, makes important decisions, and makes orders regarding the case. When appropriate, the youth will appear before the judge at review hearings while in custody.
  • Guardian ad Litem (GAL): Children in care due to abuse or neglect have an attorney assigned to represent their interests. The GAL has the responsibility to ensure the child’s needs and wants are represented to the court and makes recommendations to the court on behalf of the youth. In some cases, the GAL will utilize a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) to mentor and engage the child.

Children who are in state’s care due to delinquency do not generally have a GAL assigned to the case.

Assistant Attorney General (AAG): An AAG is assigned as the legal representative for DCFS and the state in Juvenile Court on each abuse or neglect case.

1. Warrant: The Juvenile Court judge may issue a warrant to remove a child from their home because DCFS requests the warrant during a child abuse/neglect investigation.

2. Emergency Situations: In emergency situations, DCFS or law enforcement can remove without a warrant if they determine the child would not be safe remaining in the care of their parents or caregiver.

3. Court Ordered: The judge may order custody of the child to DCFS because there is a threat of harm to the child or the child is ungovernable or has committed delinquent acts. In these situations, parents are notified in the court hearing that their child will be removed from their custody.

4. Voluntary Parental Consent: The parent voluntarily consents, in writing, to the removal of the child. This occurs when the parent feels they are no longer capable of caring for the child.