Foster Learning, Building Bridges Conference

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for the Foster Learning, Building Bridges conference sponsored by Foster Families of Utah and Utah’s Division of Child and Family Services!

This conference will be held on Monday, October 3rd at the Provo Marriott from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m..  Cost for the conference is only $15 per single ticket and $20 per couple which includes breakfast and lunch.  Up to 8 hours of in-service training can be earned in the different break-out sessions listed below:

event schedule

This conference is a great opportunity to mingle with other foster parents, receive instruction from or share concerns with DCFS, and to get to know more about how you can advocate for foster care.  Plus, you can get up to 8 hours of training and free breakfast and lunch!
To register CLICK HERE or go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/foster-learning-building-bridges-tickets-27270713438
We hope to see many of you there!

Does anyone know a good attorney?

It may be the most frequently asked question: “Does anyone know a good attorney?” So, we have done some research, mined all of your suggestions and we have come up with a statewide list of attorneys who are familiar with foster care issues and and have done adoptions from foster care. Each of these attorneys was vetted by our board attorney. Let us know if we missed anyone that you have worked with.

We hope this is a resource you will find valuable!

Listed below by region:

Northern

JUDGE (RET.) SHARON McCULLY

2828 West 4700 South Suite C

Salt Lake City, UT  84119

801-201-4043

sharon.mccully@comcast.net

MEGHANN MILLS

Attorney at Law

PO Box 521572

Salt Lake City, UT 84152-1572

801-554-3685

meg@millslawutah.com

DEREK J. WILLIAMS

Snow, Christensen, & Martineau

10 Exchange Place, 11th Floor

SLC, UT 84111

801 322 9331

djw@scmlaw.com

CAROL MORTENSEN
2550 Washington Blvd, Ste 325
Ogden, UT 84401
801-866-1046

cmortensen@ut-lawyers.com
ERIN E. BYINGTON

Bearnson & Caldwell, LLC

399 N Main St, Suite 270

Logan, Utah 84321

435-752-6300

JOSEPH SILVERZWEIG
Midway Law
728 W 100 South

Heber City, Utah 84032

435-659-7380

joseph@midwaylaw.com
JOSEPH TAGGART

Portuguese/Spanish Speaking

801-556-9929

Joseph.Taggart@EmeraldValeLegal.com

ERIN HILL

112 W. 1275 N.

Layton, UT 84041

801-603-5739

EMILIE BEAN

Bean & Micken

471 W. Heritage Park Blvd. Suite #1

Layton UT 84041

801-825-3477

PAUL GOSNEL

Hillyard, Anderson, Olsen

French Speaking

595 South Riverwoods Pkwy, Suite #100

Logan, UT 84321

435-752-2610

Western

JUDGE (RET.) SHARON McCULLY

2828 West 4700 South Suite C

Salt Lake City, UT  84119

801-201-4043

sharon.mccully@comcast.net

MEGHANN MILLS

Attorney at Law

PO Box 521572

Salt Lake City, UT 84152-1572

801-554-3685

meg@millslawutah.com

DEREK J. WILLIAMS

Snow, Christensen, & Martineau

10 Exchange Place, 11th Floor

SLC, UT 84111

801 322 9331

djw@scmlaw.com

JOHN S. LARSEN
Attorney at Law
1215 N. 500 W.

Provo, Utah 84604

801-899-1111

john@larsenlegalutah.com

WES HUTCHINS

The Hutchins Law Firm

6751 South Adventure Way

West Jordan, Utah 84081

801-969-0104

CHRIS C. ROGERS

Anderson & Rogers

170 South Interstate Plaza Dr. STE #320

Lehi, UT 84043

801-768-7070

CHARISMA V. BUCK

1789 N. 800 E.

Lehi UT 84043

801-766-2608

STEVE RUSSELL

Carver, Russell & West, LLC

480 E. 400 S., Suite 201

SLC, UT 84111

801-746-2400

steven@crwlawut.com

LARRY JENKINS

50 E. South Temple, Suite 400

SLC, UT 84111

801-328-3600

 RYAN PETERSON

Macarthur, Heder, Metler

3319 N. University Ave.

Provo, UT 84604

801-377-1900

Eastern

JUDGE (RET.) SHARON McCULLY

2828 West 4700 South Suite C

Salt Lake City, UT  84119

801-201-4043

sharon.mccully@comcast.net

MEGHANN MILLS

Attorney at Law

PO Box 521572

Salt Lake City, UT 84152-1572

801-554-3685

meg@millslawutah.com

BRAD BROTHERSON

72 North 300 East, #123-14

Roosevelt, UT 84066

435-722-3928

brotherson@abhlawfirm.com

WILL REYNOLDS

319 West 100 South

Vernal, UT 84078

435-789-1344

CLARK ALLRED

148 S. Vernal Ave., #101

Vernal, UT 84078

435-789-7800

callred@abhlawfirm.com

Salt Lake

DEREK J. WILLIAMS

Snow, Christensen, & Martineau

10 Exchange Place, 11th Floor

SLC, UT 84111

801 322 9331

djw@scmlaw.com

MICHELLE L. SULLIVAN

Sharifi & Baron

155 N 400W, Suite 530

SLC, UT 84103

801 656 1901

michelleatsb@gmail.com

JUDGE (RET.) SHARON McCULLY

2828 West 4700 South Suite C

Salt Lake City, UT  84119

801-201-4043

sharon.mccully@comcast.net

K. BRADLEY CARR

Law Offices of James H. Woodall, PLLC

10808 River Front Parkway, Suite 175

South Jordan, Utah 84095

Phone: (801) 254-9450

Fax: (801) 254-9451

Email: bc@utahtrustee.com

MEGHANN MILLS

Attorney at Law

PO Box 521572

Salt Lake City, UT 84152-1572

801-554-3685

meg@millslawutah.com

NICOLE SALAZAR-HALL

Clyde, Snow, & Sessions

201 S. Main St. #1300

Salt Lake City, UT 84111

801-322-2516

nsh@clydesnow.com

BRENT HALL

Jennings & Medura

brent@jmutah.com

801-883-8325

HEATHER TANANA

Richards, Brandt, Miller & Nelson

299 S. Main, #1500

Salt Lake City, UT 84111

801-531-2000

heather-tanana@rbmn.com

LAUREN R. BARROS

261 East 300 South, Suite 200

Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

(801) 746-0670 phone

lrb@LRBFamilyLaw.com

http://www.LRBFamilyLaw.com

JOSEPH TAGGART

Portuguese/Spanish Speaking

801-556-9929

Joseph.Taggart@EmeraldValeLegal.com

CAROL MORTENSEN
2550 Washington Blvd, Ste 325
Ogden, UT 84401
801-866-1046

cmortensen@ut-lawyers.com
JENNIFER P. LEE

Alder Law Group

3216 South Highland Drive, #201

Salt Lake City, Utah   84106

(801) 463-2600

T. CHRISTOPHER WHARTON
Chris Wharton Law, LLC
165 South Main Street, Suite 200
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Telephone: 801-649-3529

Facsimile: 801-416-1879

chris@chriswhartonlaw.com

ANITA DICKINSON

Law Office of Anita Dickinson
1905 West 4700 South #101
SLC, Utah 84129
Fax: (801) 441-1970
Cell: 801-541-4114

JOHN S. LARSEN
Attorney at Law
1215 N. 500 W., Provo, Utah 84604

801-899-1111
john@larsenlegalutah.com

FRANK CALL

29S. State St., #7

SLC, UT 84111

801-532-9909

JOSHUA BARON

Sharifi & Baron

155N. 400 W., #530

SLC, UT 84111

801-656-1901

LES ENGLAND

875 Iron Horse Dr., #F

Park City, UT 84068

435-649-1945

Southwest

CHAD UTLEY

2107 W. Sunset Blvd., 2nd Floor

St. George, UT 84770

435-634-1600

utley@farrisutley.com

ANGELA ADAMS

33 North 100 West, #200

St. George, UT 84770

435-634-5723

Angela.adams@wcattorney.com

BEN GORDON

20 N. Main #311

St. George, UT 84770

435-215-6975

bgordonlaw@gmail.com

TIM DANIELS

1760 N. Main St. #202

Cedar City, UT 84721

435-592-1235

JUSTIN WAGMENT

51 East 400 North, Bldg 1

Cedar City, UT 84721

435-586-3300

BRUCE JENKINS

285 W. Tabernacle, #301

St. George, UT 84770

435-656-8200

bcj@vf-law.com

SAM DRAPER

162 N. 400 E., Suite A-204

St. George, UT 84770

435-674-4734

samuelgdraper@gmail.com

Announcing!

Foster Families of Utah and the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) are excited to announce a foster parenting conference on October 3, 2016. Mark your calendars and save the date! This is open to all foster/adoptive parents in Utah and will count for in-service training hours.

The title of the conference is Foster Learning: Building Bridges. Foster parents will build bridges with state and local resources, have an opportunity to brainstorm with DCFS administration on how to work together, learn about building bridges with biological families, and more!

Space will be limited so plan now to attend and we will post registration details here soon. Click the file below for the Save The Date flyer.

Save the Date Oct 3

HB 377, Grandparent Rights Passed

By: Laurieann Thorpe President, Foster Families of Utah

I’ve had to gear up for a few days to write this because it has been a huge blow for me personally. I did everything in my power to fight this bill but it passed anyway.

The bill means that for children who are adopted through foster care by relatives, their biological grandparents can petition the court for visitation even after the adoption is finalized. This applies to ALL adoptions of this kind. Even if the adoption took place years ago. There is also no limit to the number of times they can petition.

Here’s the thing (and please forgive my informal tone but this has really kicked my bum), I think this bill passed for three reasons: 1- it was difficult to understand, 2- the sponsor was extremely savvy in the path he used to get it where he wanted it, and 3- it only affects such a narrow group of families that there was no public outcry because those affected by it probably didn’t know anything about it.

Our organization, Grandfamilies, and the Office of the Guardian Ad Litem all opposed the bill.

The reason it is a problem for our organization is that it exposes families to ongoing and unspecified litigation costs when they determine to set boundaries with biological grandparents but ONLY in the circumstance where a parent adopts a relative. It strips related, adoptive parents of a right that every other adoptive or biological parent takes for granted.

You know how important it is when you are an adoptive parent to be able to protect your kids and determine who can and can’t safely continue to be part of their lives post-adoption. I’d even go as far as to say that all adoptive parents I know are supportive of maintaining any relationship that is healthy for the child and the family. But it should be your prerogative to determine when that is – including the frequency and duration of visits.

Here is the full text of the bill.

We have one last move: asking the governor to veto it. If you are willing to write a letter to the governor, and/or call him to request a veto, please let me know? You can email me at fosterfamiliesofutah@gmail.com or call or text my personal cell at 801 573-7248. I need to know if anyone besides me is willing to call or email the governor before I move forward.

If you are willing, please keep reading. To call the Governor’s Office, please call:

Phone: 801-538-1000
Toll Free: 800-705-2464

To contact the Governor’s Office to request a veto click here and fill out the information in the form there.

For the body of your comment, please feel free to use the following (and include your personal story or objections too):

Please veto HB 377, Grandparent Rights, L. Christensen. This bill is a bad idea for children and families. It gives biological grandparents the right to petition the court for visitation after a parent’s parental rights have been terminated but only if the child has been adopted by relatives. This affects a very small, targeted group of families. But those affected will be subject to ongoing legal expense and manipulation from biological families long after adoptions are finalized – all to maintain a right that other families in Utah take for granted.

If your parents do not support you as your child’s parent, if they constantly seek to undermine what is important to you, if they put your child in harm’s way, you can choose to distance your family from them. This bill says that because children are adopted and related, that is no longer true.

We are talking about complicated cases where family ties have been severed because of abuse or neglect. In these situations, a parent’s right to protect their children should be strengthened NOT weakened. If the children are adopted by a relative, that new parent is better equipped than anyone to determine whom to protect the child from – including biological grandparents.

Parents in this circumstance are welcoming and open to relationships with biological family that strengthen stability and safety for a child. This bill sets up an adversarial relationship where a biological grandparent inappropriately has the upper hand.

Grandparents who work to have a good relationship with the new parents will not have any need for this provision. Grandparents who work against the family should not have this leverage to continually manipulate and harass new parents.

Please veto this bill!

If you have any questions about this, please call, text, or email me! fosterfamiliesofutah@gmail.com 801 573-7248.

Upcoming Conferences

fostconf

8th Annual Foster Care Symposium

Sponsored By: Utah Foster Care

When: Thursday, April 21, 2016

Where: Midway, Utah

Up to 6 hours of In-Service Training is Available!

To Register , Click HERE

Perspectives on Adoption Annual Conference

Sponsored By: The Adoption Exchange and Utah’s Division of Child and Family Services

When: Wednesday, May 11th and Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Where: Sandy, Utah

To Register and See the Conference Schedule, Click HERE

Scholarships are available on a first come first serve basis. If you have adopted through DCFS contact your post adoption worker. All others contact The Adoption Exchange 801-265-0444 or ks@adoptex.org by April 22nd midnight.

AND ANNOUNCING . . .

First Annual Foster Adoption Conference

Sponsored by Foster Families of Utah and Utah’s Division of Child and Family Services

The purpose of this conference will be to establish a better working relationship between Foster Families and DCFS; Training Hours will be Available and the cost will be minimal.

Date, Location and More Details Coming Soon!

Legislative Update

We wanted to let you know about some bills that are in consideration before the legislature this year. These are bills that will affect foster families. We’ve provided a list below with links to the bills, our concerns or support of each, and some instructions if you would like to follow the bills so you can advocate for your families and your concerns.

HB00377 Grandparent Rights Amendments, Christensen, L.

This is a bill that would enable biological grandparents to petition the court for visitation rights with children who have been adopted from foster care by relatives.

Foster Families of Utah has concerns about this bill. We believe adoptive parents should have the same rights as other parents, and that this bill violates that. It could impact DCFS’s ability to find willing relatives to take placements if they are worried biological grandparents would take them to court even after an adoption is finalized.

Representative Christensen has been trying to pass this bill for three years. Advocacy from foster families has helped to keep it from passing.

If you would like to track this bill, click on the link above and scroll down to read the bill. On the left side of the screen, there are two yellow buttons that will allow you to track the bill and receive email notifications when the status changes.

SB0079S02 Child Welfare Revisions, Jackson, A.

This bill provides that a minor who is 18 years or old may petition the the court to to be exempt from the custody of DCFS.

This bill is on its second substitution and the substitution alleviates many of Foster Families of Utah’s concerns. Originally, it stated that foster youth would no longer be in DCFS care when they turned 18. Thanks to many concerned foster parents and agencies, that bill did not stand.

It now has a provision that takes into consideration the recommendations of members of the child and family team and also includes a provision for the youth to request reentry into DCFS within 30 days of leaving care.

If you would like to track this bill, click on the link above and scroll down to read the bill. On the left side of the screen, there are two yellow buttons that will allow you to track the bill and receive email notifications when the status changes.

SB0082 Child Welfare Modifications, Harper, W.

This bill is jam-packed full of little details cleaning up code to make it possible for DCFS to, among other things, use evidence-based assessment, modifies some background check requirements for emergency placements, supports a psychotropic medication evaluation for children foster care, and more.

Foster Families of Utah supports this bill. It supports foster families and clears a path for better services from DCFS.

If you would like to track this bill, click on the link above and scroll down to read the bill. On the left side of the screen, there are two yellow buttons that will allow you to track the bill and receive email notifications when the status changes.

This is not an exhaustive list of the bills we are following but these are the bills we think foster parents will be most interested in.

To find a daily calendar of events for the legislature or to look up your representatives and senators, please click here.

If you would like to be more involved in advocacy with the legislature, please contact us at fosterfamiliesofutah@gmail.com or 801 252-5395.