Child Protection Division
The Child Protection Division of the Attorney General's office is the result of the 1994 passage of House Bill 265, Child Welfare Reform Act. Under The Child Welfare Reform Act, the Attorney General represents the State and the Utah Division of Child and Family Services in child abuse and neglect cases.
Ensuring a safe living environment for children can involve something as drastic as permanently removing a child from an abusive home and making the child available for adoption. Usually, however, it will involve other alternatives such as temporary shelter, foster care, or protective supervision of the child in his or her own home. All of these circumstances require court action and the involvement of the AG's office.
The Child Protection Division’s responsibilities include
- Advising the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) regarding a decision to remove a child from his or her home.
- Representing DCFS in all court and administrative proceedings related to child abuse, neglect, and dependency. These cases include shelter hearings, dispositional hearings, dispositional review hearings, periodic review hearings, and petitions for termination of parental rights.
- Giving legal advice to DCFS case workers on an ongoing basis.
- Representing the Department of Human Services' Division of Licensing on issues concerning the licensing of social service programs, such as child care centers, foster care providers, and residential treatment centers.