TAL Resources

Most foster parents are familiar with the acronym GAL, but there’s another similar-sounding acronym which can be helpful to know:  TAL.  What is TAL?  TAL stands for Transition to Adult Living, and as the name implies, TAL resources are available for foster children ages 14 and over to help them make the transition to adult living. 

Did you know that each region has its own TAL Coordinator who can help parents find resources to help youth in their care more easily make the transition to adulthood?

One region’s TAL Coordinator recently explained in a Cluster Facebook Post:

“TAL resources can be used by young adults age 14 and above who are currently in foster care placements. Young adults who have been adopted however, may still qualify for after care support. Any individual who was in care for 12 months passed their 14th birthday and was adopted or adopted at any time after their 16th birthday regardless of their time in care is eligible for these services up until their 21st birthday.

TAL resources are designed to provide financial assistance with Education and Career Exploration, Physical and Emotional Health, Transportation, and Housing. Examples include:
-First month’s rent and deposit
-Purchasing and maintain a vehicle
-Emergency funds for bills
-Driver’s education and licensing
-Higher education funding and scholarships”

To find the TAL Coordinator in your region, contact your nearest DCFS office.  Adoption Specialists in each region can also refer families to a TAL Coordinator.

Another helpful resource for youth in custody or youth who have been adopted from foster care is the Just for Youth Utah website, found at justforyouth.utah.gov



Respite Adoption Camp Pilot Program

Foster families who have adopted in the Northern Region will benefit from a new respite program sponsored by the Family Support Center of Ogden.

Camp OWL (“Owlets We Love”) is a Weekend Respite Camp for children who have been adopted from foster care.  “Camp” will provide fun activities, food and interactive learning opportunities by staff who are trained in behavioral and trauma specific behaviors.


Camp OWL is open to ages 0-17 with activities for all ages.  During the time children are at The Family Support Center they will be provided with healthy meals and snacks, fun activities, learning opportunities, and an environment that promotes healthy relationships, friendships and resourcefulness.  While kids are at camp, it will provide the family an opportunity to take a respite break and recharge.

Families are encouraged to take advantage of the entire weekend in order to get a break and allow their child to participate in all the activities. There will be a short and fun awards ceremony at the commencement of the weekend for families to join in celebrating their child!


Camp OWL Staff Members:

Camp Staff

If you live in Northern Region and are interested in having your child attend Camp OWL, please read the information under “CAMP OWL INFO” below.

If you are interested in finding respite care or other free services and resources provided by a Family Support Center in your area, please click on the following link: http://utahfamilysupport.org/find-a-center/.  In addition to providing post-adopt respite care and crisis nurseries, Family Support Centers across the state offer parenting courses, social skills classes for children, and may operate lending libraries and therapeutic services.


Step 1: Email or call Katy at 801-393-3113 or fsco.katy@gmail.com to register.
Step 2: Contact your post adopt worker to ensure you have funding to pay for camp. The cost is $165 per weekend per child.
Step 3: Once it’s approved through post adopt, Katy will send registration forms via email to be filled out and returned 7 days prior to camp start date.

Some info:
· Ages 0-17.
· This particular pilot program is currently only open to the Northern Region at this time and is for children adopted through foster care.
· Check in will be on Friday afternoon between 4-5:00. Parents will pick up their campers on Sunday at 1:30 and stay for a short closing ceremony.
· Scheduling will be done directly with Katy to ensure that she has information regarding kids, behaviors, special needs/requests and to staff appropriately.
· All registration information will be filled and sent to Katy before the children arrive at camp.
· Cost: $165 for the entire weekend. Please contact your post adopt worker for grant funding. They will pay the Family Support Center directly so there is no out of pocket expense for the family.
· Campers will be on a merit based program and will earn rewards to show to their family upon pick up. (Based on 5 Protective Factors). Families are encouraged to stay and participate in closing ceremony.
· Parents are responsible for any damage caused by the camper.
· Camp is not intended to be a punishment, but to support families in self-care and planned respite time. We encourage parents to view this as a positive experience and not as a threat for poor behavior.

This is a year round weekend program with the following dates open for registration:
July 28-30, Aug 4-6, Aug 18-20, Sept 1-3, Sept 15-17, Oct 6-8, Oct 20-22, Nov 17-19, Dec 1-3, Dec 15-17

Northern Region post adopt worker information:
Jeanna O’Connor joconnor@utah.gov 801-395-5973

Anna Whisler awhisler@utah.gov 435-213-6641

Adopted Children & Social Security Numbers

The following is a Release from the Mandatory Information Committee (MIC) for November 2015 which contains some updated Practice Alerts and Practice Guidelines including adopted children and their Social Security Numbers.

Mandatory Information Communication (MIC) Release, November 2015

303.7 Transition to Adult Living (Jen)

Updates to Practice Guideline Section 303.7.

Why needed:  New federal requirements mandate that Child and Family Services must obtain credit reports for all youth ages 14+ each year until the youth exits care.  Previously we only had to complete this requirement for youth 16+.

Impact on frontline caseworkers:  Caseworkers with youth on their caseloads age 14+ will need to review with the youth the credit report to determine if there are any discrepancies in the report.  The caseworker will then notify the state office (Linda O’Brien), who will then work with the credit reporting agencies to resolve the discrepancy.

Practice Alert:  Adopted Children and Social Security Numbers

Prior to 2001, after a legal adoption in court, the child’s Social Security Number was changed with their new name.  In 2001 with the “war on terrorism”, the fear of a person being able to create a new false identity inspired the federal government to issue a policy regarding adopted children. It stated, in summary, that if a child knew they were being adopted, the adopting parents could not change the child’s Social Security Number.  In essence, this affected any child older than about five years of age.

The policy has now been reversed back to the prior Social Security policy.  All children under the age of 18 years who are adopted are permitted to apply for a new Social Security Number.

Why needed:  Some Social Security offices in Utah are aware of the change and follow this new practice, but some are not aware.  If you are notified that an official at a Social Security office refuses to change an adoptive child’s Social Security Number, email Jeri Boyle (jeriboyle@utah.gov) the location of the Social Security office that made the refusal.  She will contact Social Security and get the confusion resolved.

Impact on frontline caseworkers: Minimal.

Practice Alert:  Results of Fatality Review

Why Needed: Each quarter the Department of Human Services Fatality Review Committee reviews the cases of deceased children who have had Child and Family Services interventions at some time in their life.  As a result of these reviews, the Fatality Review Committee makes recommendations regarding trends that are seen in practice or specific issues on specific cases. In this quarter there are four trends that will be included in this Practice Alert.

  1. Physical Abuse should be supported even if the perpetrator states the act was

“unintentional” or that he or she “did not mean to leave injuries.”  Caseworkers should be looking at results, not intentions.  Each caseworker needs to assess the safety and risk of children, as well as the incident that was reported to make a finding.

  1. In the event that a caseworker learns a foster parent is using physical discipline on children placed in their homes, they need to report this to the Resource Family Consultant, who will notify the Office of Licensing. Caseworkers must also report allegations of abuse and neglect to Intake.
  2. A mark or a bruise is not necessary to support an allegation of Physical Abuse.
  3. Caseworkers need to remember to have their documentation done in a timely manner. This includes all case types.