Independent Assessment

Office of Coordinated Care & Regional Supports

Under the Families First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) the purpose of the Independent Assessment Team is to complete an objective review of youth placed in a Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) to ensure that high level placement is clinically indicated and the youth could not have been safely served in a family based setting.


In 2018 the Families First Prevention Services Act was put into place to enhance support services for families to help children remain at home, reduce unnecessary use of congregate care, and build the capacity of communities to support children and their families.

The Independent Assessment Team was created in 2019 to support the unnecessary use of congregate care (residential) settings for youth in the custody of DCFS and JJYS by completing a clinical and independent review of every youth placed in a QRTP setting.

From 2019 to present 1,182 referrals for an assessment have been submitted, 894 unduplicated youth received an IA, 288 youth have more than one referral for an assessment, indicating multiple residential placements.

Additional importance is placed on efforts to involve family in placement/treatment decisions. To meet this expectation Clinical Review Specialists interview both the youth and guardians and take into consideration their agreement or disagreement with placement in a QRTP setting.

  • In FY2022 96% of reports were completed within the required 30 day time frame.
  • In FY2022 98% of families indicated that they were involved in the decision to place their youth in a QRTP.
  • Residential placements have decreased 19.8% since the implementation of IA in 2019.
  • FY2023 data will indicate how many reports included interviews from both youth and guardian.


Currently only youth in the custody of the state (DCFS & JJYS) are required to come through the IA process.

To meet the standard set by DHHS that all Utahns have fair and equitable opportunities to be healthy and safe; ie youth are not placed in residential care when it is not clinically indicated, the IA Team would like to expand capacity to assess all youth being placed in QRTP who are involved with State services.

This would include post-adopt youth and youth in the custody of their parents who are placed in contracted QRTP Placements.

Contact us


Utah Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Family Health
Office of Coordinated Care & Reginal Support
195 North 1950 West
PO Box 142002
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-2002


Kimberlee Huaman
[email protected]


Monday thru Friday - 8 am to 5 pm
phone number (385) 215-4211