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What are Care Communities?

In partnership with Utah First Lady Abby Cox’s Show Up Initiative, Utah Foster Care has established a Care Communities Program within Utah. Almost 40% of foster parents stop fostering within the first year, and lack of community support contributes to this dropout rate . Your organization can play a valuable role in providing better outcomes for foster parents and the children in their care. The work of caring for children who have experienced trauma comes with challenges unique to foster parenting, and our foster and kinship families need specialized support.

Each participating group is called a Care Community and provides 8-10 families who can  surround one foster or kinship family with regular, ongoing, natural and normal friendship and support. Physical, emotional, and practical support is given to each foster or kinship family through simple acts of service. This consistent connection improves outcomes for children in care and strengthens our foster families, empowering them to continue providing foster care for Utah’s vulnerable children.

Care Communities Model

Care Record

Confidentiality Policy and Agreement for Care Community Leaders and Team Members, also referred to as Volunteers in this document.

Respecting the privacy of our clients, donors, members, staff and volunteers and of Utah Foster Care itself is a basic value of Utah Foster Care (UFC). Volunteers will strive to maintain the confidentiality of the families and children being served. Information regarding the clients, including verbal and written information, as well as images and digital information (such as digital photographs and video clips, etc) is confidential and will be safeguarded. This includes the release of information in social networking mediums and other public forums.

Confidentiality is essential when working with sensitive information in the form of verbal communication, written communication, and the general use of data. This adherence to confidentiality protects against identification, exploitation, or embarrassment that could result from the release of information which would identify individuals or families as having applied for or having received services or assistance from the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) or UFC. Unauthorized release of information could have a detrimental effect on the relationship with the child and/or family.

Some of the information that volunteers and others have access to will be classified as confidential, private, controlled or protected. Such information must be handled according to the laws governing its classification. Confidential information includes but is not limited to: identifying factors of the foster family, children in the home, DCFS Staff, and biological family members of the children in care; and  information regarding the status of the children’s case, and/or of biological family members. It is the policy of UFC that such information must be kept confidential both during and after volunteer service. Access and use is limited to purposes that are consistent with the purposes of the Care Communities Program as outlined in the program guide, and are subject to changes and updates. Volunteers are expected to return privileged or confidential materials at the expiration of service.

Unauthorized disclosure of confidential or privileged information is a serious violation of this policy and will subject the person(s) who made the unauthorized disclosure to appropriate discipline, including removal from the program.

I have read the above confidentiality policy of UFC and agree to abide by the following during and after my time as a member of the Care Communities Program:

  1. To prevent invasion of privacy, I agree not to disclose the names, ages, genders, and identifying information of the foster family and child(ren) in their home, outside of communication with the Care Community Leader(s) and Team Members, regardless of how such information was obtained, if related information would allow others to identify the child(ren) in care and/or their biological family.
  2. The invasion of privacy does not apply to giving identifying information about the child(ren) and family to UFC, DCFS staff assigned to the child(ren) and their family, and associated social service professionals via written and verbal communication with UFC.
  3. I understand my role as a Care Community Team Leader or Member is to uphold and maintain the confidentiality of the foster family I serve along with the child(ren) placed in the home, and their biological family, only reporting to the Director of Care Communities,  my Care Community Leader(s), and any assigned UFC Staff. Written communication and Care Records regarding the foster family and child(ren) in the home, sent to UFC, will be shared with DCFS staff assigned to the child(ren) and the family, including: DCFS supervisors, RFC, KFC, and caseworkers.
  4. I understand that all Care Records I complete via the UFC website are viewed and documented by the Director of Care Communities and can be made available to UFC and DCFS staff assigned to the family and child(ren) as deemed necessary. All information in electronic format sent to UFC shall be stored and processed in such a way that it adheres to UFC policies regarding said information.
  5. I agree to handle any information with which I come in contact according to the law governing its classification. I agree not to share any personal identifying information in social networking mediums or public forms. Additionally, this agreement extends to any written communication done independently of UFC, including personal email, text, and other messaging platforms.
  6. As an Organization Leader I have completed the Memorandum of Understanding (form CC001) and understand my responsibilities.
  7. I have a right to access technical assistance, training, and mentoring regarding this confidentiality agreement and that Utah Foster Care will maintain ongoing communication, instruction, and support regarding my role. Additionally, if I am unsure how to handle any information with which I come into contact, I will consult with the Director of Care Communities before I disclose any information and will handle the record or information according to UFC instructions.

I have read Utah Foster Care’s policy on confidentiality and expectations presented above. I agree to abide by the requirements of the policy and inform the Director of Care Communities immediately if I believe any violation of the policy (unintentional or otherwise) has occurred. I understand that violation of this policy will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of my service with Utah Foster Care and the Care Communities Program.

Updated November 2023

Utah Foster Care Form CC002

Confidentiality Agreement

"*" indicates required fields

Name:*
Today's Date*
Note: This agreement shall be effective from the above date and continues for the duration of the named volunteer's involvement in Utah Foster Care's Volunteer program.

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Tami Carson

Tami Carson

Director of Care Communities

carecommunities@utahfostercare.org

BIO

Care Team Member Guide

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Care Team Leader Guide

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Message from Tami Carson, Director of Care Communities:

All of the information you share with us is respected as confidential. As the Director of Care Communities, I will only share general information with your Care Team Leader and Care Team Members. Information about special behavioral needs or concerns regarding the children in your home will only be shared as the need arises and with your permission. All of the fun stuff – food, restaurants, favorite colors, birthday month, talents, etc… will be shared to help your Care Team better meet the needs and wishes of the children in your home.

Foster Family Survey

The more healthy relationships a child has, the more likely he will be to recover from trauma and thrive. Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.

Bruce D Perry

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead