The Utah Department of Human Services Office of Licensing released a comprehensive survey seeking public input on new rules governing youth congregate care programs. S.B. 127, a law expanding regulation of Utah’s congregate care programs for the first time in 15 years, goes into effect on May 5, 2021, and definitions and rule updates must be in effect by Nov. 30, 2021.
Utah’s congregate care programs are licensed, monitored and regulated by the Department of Human Services Office of Licensing (OL). OL’s licensing rules, which are established with community support and enforced by state law, detail standards and requirements that ensure licensed programs comply with local, state and federal rules and laws. When laws change, OL has to update the rules to reflect those changes. Public input is part of this rule update process.
The New Rules for Congregate Care Survey is intended for a variety of audiences including past and current clients of congregate care programs in Utah and their families; physical and behavioral health professionals; staff and administrators of congregate care settings; members of advocacy groups; and concerned citizens who want to participate in congregate care reform in Utah. Topics covered in the survey include approaches to trauma-informed and gender-affirming care, suicide prevention, and policies regulating behavior management and the use of restraints.
“We want to make sure that the rules we develop clearly define the intended improvements in the law so they can be implemented and regulated,” said OL Director Amanda Slater. “These programs must be safe places that promote respect, health and healing for youth requiring services.”
The survey will close on May 16. OL staff will analyze the feedback and incorporate findings in the new rule that will be published for public comment before going into effect.
This survey is not designed to record official complaints about specific programs. Any information provided in the survey will be used for rule development only. If you suspect mistreatment, fraud, or exploitation at a licensed care facility in Utah, please submit your concern here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The DHS Office of Licensing thoroughly investigates every incident that is reported to us and takes action if rule violations contributed to the incident.