Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies - Utah

Date: April 2018

When Case Plans Are Required

Citation: Ann. Code § 62A-4a-205

No more than 45 days after a child enters the temporary custody of the Division of Child and Family Services, a child and family plan shall be finalized for the child.

Who May Participate in the Case Planning Process

Citation: Ann. Code § 62A-4a-205

The division may use an interdisciplinary team approach in developing each child and family plan. The interdisciplinary team shall include representatives from the following fields:

  • Mental health
  • Education
  • Law enforcement, if appropriate

The division may involve all of the following in the development of the child and family plan:

  • Both of the child's natural parents, unless the whereabouts of a parent are unknown
  • The child
  • The child's foster parents
  • The child's stepparent, if appropriate
  • The child's guardian ad litem, if one has been appointed by the court

Contents of a Case Plan

Citation: Ann. Code § 62A-4a-205

Each child and family plan shall:

  • Specifically provide for the safety of the child in accordance with Federal law
  • Clearly define what actions or precautions will or may be necessary to provide for the health, safety, protection, and welfare of the child

The plan shall set forth, with specificity, at least the following:

  • The reason the child entered into the custody of the division
  • Documentation of the reasonable efforts made to prevent placement of the child in the custody of the division, or the emergency situation that existed and prevented reasonable efforts from being made
  • The primary permanency plan for the child and the reason for selection of that plan
  • The concurrent permanency plan for the child and the reason for the selection of that plan
  • If the plan is for the child to return to the child's family:
    • Specifically what the parents must do to enable the child to be returned home
    • Specifically how those requirements may be accomplished
    • How those requirements will be measured
  • The specific services needed to reduce the problems that necessitated placing the child in the division's custody
  • The name of the person who will provide and be responsible for case management
  • A schedule of parent time between the natural parent and the child, unless such parent time is detrimental to the child
  • The health and mental health care to be provided to address any known or diagnosed mental health needs of the child
  • If residential treatment rather than a foster home is the proposed placement, a requirement for a specialized assessment of the child's health needs, including an assessment of mental illness and behavior and conduct disorders
  • Social summaries that include case history information pertinent to case planning
  • A schedule for sibling visits

The case plan shall address specific problems that keep a child in placement and keep a child from achieving permanence in his or her life. It shall be designed to minimize disruption to the normal activities of the child's family, including employment and school.

The division shall consider visitation with their grandparents for children in State custody if the division determines visiting to be in the best interests of the children and:

  • There are no safety concerns regarding the behavior or criminal background of the grandparents.
  • Allowing visits would not compete with or undermine the reunification plan.
  • There is a substantial relationship between the grandparents and children.
  • The visits will not unduly burden the foster parents.