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.

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