Quick Facts: Utah

​​​​​​​​​​Performance Breakdown
  • Law & Policy: 58% of metrics met
     
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 58% of metrics met 
       

    • Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 71% of metrics met 
       

    • Providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently: 88% of metrics met
       

    • Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness: 33% of metrics met 
       

    • Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 39% of metrics met 
       

  • Systems: 44% of metrics met 
     
  • Environment: 18% of metrics met

State Score 2022: 49
State Ranking 2022: 35

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2022 Score

2021 Score

49

50

Utah Highlights

An area where Utah has moved the needle relative to other states include providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently.

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Law & Policy

  • State law provides youth experiencing homelessness some contract rights for homeless youth.

  • State law does not specifically criminalize running away.

  • The state allows youth in foster care to access extended foster care services to age 21 under any circumstances and allows youth who have exited the foster care system after 18 to re-enter care until age 21.

  • The state allows shelters to take in youth experiencing homelessness with a delay or waiver of notification requirements.

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Systems​​

  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness.

  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.

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Environment

  • The state promotes safe and inclusive environments in child welfare programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Beehive State, with emphasis on the Law & Policy and Environment categories. Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness and protecting their rights and interests, including the rights and interests of LGBTQ youth, should be prioritized.

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Law & Policy

  • Enact and fund a state law similar to the federal RHYA to provide key intervention and emergency services for youth experiencing homelessness.

  • The state should explicitly allow partial and alternative school credit accrual for homeless youth through regulations.

  • Allow unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage on their own.

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Systems

  • As part of the state plan to prevent and end homelessness, include a strategy to address homelessness among LGBTQ youth.

  • Create a state entity – such as an Office of Homeless Youth Services – that focuses solely on designing, implementing, and evaluating youth homelessness programs.

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Environment

  • The state should establish and maintain stipends for a community advisory board that informs youth homelessness policy (Youth Action Board).

  • The state should require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development or issues specific to LGBTQ+ youth for staff working in RHY Systems.

  • The state should establish nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ youth in youth homelessness services.

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