Utah Youth Village uses an evidence-based parenting approach with nearly 50 years of research to back up its effectiveness. We do proctor care and treatment foster care. These are higher levels of care than basic foster care; you will become a skilled parent that has the confidence to handle nearly any parenting situation, with 24-hour support from us.
We are a private 501c-3 agency that contracts with the State of Utah, but we are not a state agency. What this means is that you have one-on-one attention from us, and you are a vital part of the treatment team working with your foster child or children.
Being a foster parent is hard, so all foster parents receive a baseline of training , but Utah Youth Village trains more than what is required; we teach you how to handle difficult behaviors or situations. A consultant is assigned to each family and is available 24/7 for emergencies and regularly meets with the foster parents to problem solve, treatment plan, review progress, and train. We have a strong community of foster parents that support each other. Utah Youth Village holds high expectations for their foster parents and is a highly-involved organization--this isn’t for everyone. If you are a better match for a different organization, we will recommend that because we want you to be a successful foster parent no matter which organization you license with.
The short answer is, everywhere. It is best if children can be placed within their community. We are willing to work with families in nearly any area of the state of Utah. We currently have foster homes all along the Wasatch Front, and in Tooele, Utah, Cache, Davis, Weber, Sanpete, Duchesne, and Emery counties.
Sometimes, yes. There are hundreds of kids in foster care, and our number one goal is to help them have a family they can call their own. If you foster a child that you feel is meant to be part of your family, we can look into adoption. Sometimes kids in foster care aren’t available for adoption because they have a different permanency plan.
No, you do not have to adopt the kids you work with. There is a great need for families who simply foster children and help them through the reunification or adoption process.
We contract through a variety of outlets to place foster kids in our licensed foster homes. Generally, Utah Youth Village works with kids that are more difficult to place; this may be because of trauma, level of supervision required, inappropriate behaviors requiring correction, groups of siblings, or, in the case of refugees, lack of cultural and language understanding.
In general, foster kids need extra support in school, overcoming trauma, learning the difference between inappropriate and healthy relationships, and developing trust. Utah Youth Village certifies our foster parents in a treatment program called the Teaching-Family Model so they are equipped with the tools they need to help their foster children.
Biological children respond in a variety of ways. It can be difficult for them to share attention with more children, so it is important to prepare your natural children before introducing a new foster child to the family; your consultant can help you with tips on how to do that. Once they’ve adjusted to the change in family dynamics, natural children often become more optimistic, sympathetic, and understanding of others.
It depends on the individual child, but in some cases, children do have visitation with family members that you will need to help facilitate.
Foster kids cannot share rooms with natural children; they can, however, share with other foster children. So if your home is certified to have two foster kids, they can share one room given that they meet the room size, child age, and gender requirements.
It varies for each situation. Sometimes we need foster homes for only 3-6 months; other times, kids need placements much longer. It is not easy to determine beforehand how long they will be placed with you, and the estimated time frame may change. It is really important that foster kids move as little as possible, as each move causes more trauma.
Foster kids become part of your family; you grow to love them for all of their strengths and even their weaknesses. It can be very bittersweet when they leave your home. Much like you needed to prepare yourself, your home, and your family when they were moving in, you’ll need to do the same when they are moving out.
It is important to place kids as quickly as possible because changing placements causes trauma, and drawing that out longer than necessary can make it even more traumatic. On the other hand, it is important to fully commit to any youth that you accept as a foster placement, we do not want to cause more moves than necessary. Most of the time Foster Parents are able to review a youth file and make a definitive decision, however if you review the file and feel the need to meet before placement we can request that from the referring agency.
When a youth is referred to our agency, our intake coordinator suggests available families to the consultants. Some of the factors that the intake coordinator considers are: ages and gender of natural children, number of children the foster home is licensed to care for, location of home, etc. The foster parent consultants then review the information and evaluate whether the child is a good fit–they look at the ability and consistency of the foster parents, the temperament of other children (foster and natural) in the home, the supervision abilities of the foster parents, etc. Finally, the consultant will send the applicable referrals to the family. The foster parents make the ultimate decision of whether or not that child can be placed with them.
Yes, foster parents make the ultimate decision of who is placed in their home. The consultant has a lot of experience with matching foster children to families, so they will advise on what age and gender is appropriate and will be most successful. Oftentimes, a family will strongly want a child that is a certain age and gender and later realize that a different child is much more successful in their home.
Once you are licensed, we will start sending referrals to your consultant and then to you. Depending on your family, it may take a few days or a few weeks to find a good fit.
To certify there are a few steps that can be completed in a few week or a few months depending on how quickly you complete them. On average, it takes 3 months to complete all of the requirements:
- • Foster Parent Interview. A consultant will interview you and gather information on your family history, current family dynamics, hobbies and interests, disciplinary style, acceptance of feedback etc. They will also answer specific questions you might have. This interview takes 1-1.5 hours.
- • Licensing packet. This must be completed by you and will include things like letters of recommendation, doctors’ appointments, policies and procedures, etc. This packet normally takes about one month to complete.
- • Background Check. It is required for all members of the household over 18 to have a full background check. This can take one to three months so it is one of the first forms collected when licensing.
- • Home study. Your home must meet a variety of safety requirements. This includes small things like first aid kits and fire extinguishers, and larger ones like having screens on all your windows and railings on stairs. Depending on what home improvements need to be made, this typically does not take long to prepare for. Once your home is ready, a licensed social worker will tour your home and verify its completion.
- • Training. Before being licensed, a two-week training is required. This training is held every 1-2 months.
We ask that once you take a foster child, you try to keep them with you until they are able to move forward in their permanency plan (reunify with family, be adopted, or move on to independent living). Once a child transitions, it is okay to take a break from fostering, but you will need to continue monthly training to maintain your license.
Prior to licensing there is a two-week training that is required. After licensing, you are required to attend monthly trainings once a month for 2-3 hours--at least one foster parent must attend. You are also required to have a consultant meet with you for treatment planning/consultation and an observation once a month. Every year, you will have an evaluation to see how you are implementing the program--successful completion of that evaluation results in a Teaching-Family Association Certification.
- • Facilitating visitation with family (if required).
- • Taking them to therapy and checking in with their therapist.
- • Teaching them independent living skills (budget, time management, work ethic, etc.).
- • Teaching them social skills (greeting, following instructions, asking permission, etc.).
- • Supporting them in school (IEP meetings, parent teacher conferences, volunteering and supporting them in school activities).
- • Setting up and taking them to health appointments.
- • Completing monthly paperwork (medication logs, monthly report of progress, treatment documentation).
You can still have natural children in the home; there are no specific age requirements. Licensing requires that there are no more than 6 total children in the home while fostering (i.e. If you have 5 natural children, you can have 1 foster child). Your consultant will help determine what ages/genders are appropriate for your family.
No, Utah Youth Village provides training and licensing for potential foster parents except for the livescan fee of $10. You do need to pay for any home improvements or materials required to pass your home study. (Request a list of requirements from your consultant).
At different points in time, you may feel fostering is not a good fit for your family; that is okay. You don’t need to commit to a set timeframe - but you do need to commit to the child that you placed in your home. If you have a youth transition out and you want to take a break for a few months or years and then return to fostering, that is fine.
Lots of things! Your foster child should do everything that your family does, from family get-togethers, to camping trips, etc. We encourage you to treat your foster child like any other child in your family. Each foster child is assigned to a caseworker that can approve specific activities (travel, dangerous activities like rock climbing, water activities like boating, etc.).
Yes, it depends on the situation and caseworker, parent, and/or judge approval, but with preparation, it can be done. In the event that the activity is not approved, your consultant will help arrange respite care for the child/ren while you are gone.
No, all caretakers of foster children must be licensed. Many foster parents have a grandparent or an aunt/uncle or family friend that is willing to be respite licensed so they can babysit for you. This family support is encouraged and often helps the foster child feel like a normal kid.
All our foster parent are assigned a consultant that supports them at all times. The consultant will meet with you monthly to prepare for any anticipated needs. Your consultant is available to you 24/7 for any crisis and during business hours for any basic questions. When you are unable to contact your consultant, you will have contact information for a coordinator or director that can help. You will always have someone to support you through a challenging situation. In addition, each foster child is assigned a caseworker to make decisions for their care and treatment.
Foster parents receive a monthly stipend to assist in the cost of adding another person to their household and to compensate for some of the extra supervision required. There is also the opportunity for a monthly bonus for completing all of your monthly paperwork and training on time. The stipend should not be used as household income; it is required that you have enough income to support your household without the stipend.
Foster kids have their own insurance, and medical bills that are not covered are processed and approved through the caseworker and their agency prior to medical service.
Yes, one parent needs to be available at all times. Foster children require more supervision than natural children. Foster children have scheduled breaks in school (summer, spring, winter, holidays, etc.), and they also have unscheduled breaks (approx. 2 weeks between placement in home and placement in school, snow days, suspension, etc.).
You can if you have a flexible schedule (request more information on the specific requirements). You cannot be cohabitating with a significant other.
No, you can be renting your home. Utah Youth Village is not responsible for any property damage that may occur or normal wear from raising children.
No, foster children can never share rooms with natural children. If age and gender are appropriate and the room meets physical requirements, foster children can share with each other.
This is situational; it depends on what the conviction was and how long ago it happened. It is possible. Full disclosure is required, and extensive background checks should corroborate disclosed information.
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