Foster Care

How do I start?

Starting is as simple as talking to an Ensign Peak Services  (EPS) staff member. You can call us directly at 801-982-1404, or request more info.

After clearing a few, short qualifying questions we’ll schedule a face-to-face meeting. During the face-to-face consultation, our staff will help you decide whether becoming a foster family is right for you.

If foster care is a good fit, you’ll be invited to attend pre-services training classes and begin the licensing process. It’s important to understand that you will work with two agencies as you move from training to licensure to caring for children. It usually takes 4–6 weeks to become licensed, so don’t wait to get started!

Submit your foster parent qualifications application HERE!

How does the licensing process work?


The first step is to let us know you are interested or would like more information.  Phone  Christopher at 801-982-1404 or email ch@epslc.org

Interested persons can also fill out a preliminary Qualification Application HERE.


We will schedule an initial interview in our offices, and have you fill out preliminary paperwork.  In this interview, we will ask you questions such as,  “Why do you want to become a foster parent?”  “What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?” How did you find out about E.P.S.?”  “What is your current family configuration (family members)?”  The interview can be scheduled during daytime hours or after normal work hours (if needed).

Paperwork can include:

  • Foster parent application
  • Background screening application
  • Copy of driver’s license
  • Copy of social security card
  • Eligibility for employment verification


If the initial qualifications are met, applicants will be invited to attend training to become licensed as an Ensign Peak Services Foster Parent. This will take place at the Ensign Peak Services office. Training is once per week for 4 to 6 weeks and is normally done after daytime work hours. However, we understand everyone’s schedule is different and we will try to accommodate your schedule. Foster parents are required by the state to have 32 hours of pre-service training. If you have some foster parent training by another licensed foster parent agency within the past two years we might be able to apply your training towards the Ensign Peak Services training as long as we can verify that the content of the training meets our requirements.


We will schedule a time with you to evaluate your home. During this interview, we will look at the amount of space you have for foster care and check for safety factors.


Once you have completed the needed paperwork, training, a home study, and all other requirements, Ensign Peak Services will issue you a license to work only under Ensign Peak Services as a Foster Parent.

These are the general requirements to become a foster parent. If you have more questions feel free to contact us at 801-982-1404 or email us on our contact page.

What kind of training do I need to complete?

Foster parent training will take place in Ensign Peak’s offices. There are several different sections of training that include, but are not limited to, mental health, discipline, state safety guidelines, and agency policy. All training is paid. 

How do you find refugee youth?


We work with URM youth (Unaccompanied Refugee Minor). This means at some point in their lives they have been separated from their natural parent/s for many different reasons including, but not limited to abandonment, the death of a parent, or youth who are lost, kidnapped, sold, or run away.

During that time there are several scenarios that the youth might live through, including traveling long distances to find shelter or food, meeting other people who help them travel, hiding, living on their own, or staying in a refugee camp for long periods of time.  Eventually, they come in contact with a UN worker who can offer them help, such as repatriation, independent living support, or the opportunity to better themselves in another country.  (There are several countries in the world that accept URM youth.)


After meeting a UN worker who has the ability to offer them the chance to make a life in another country, the youth will make that decision and fill out paperwork to apply.  They must be under the age of 18 and must pass medical and criminal screenings.  Family members who qualify for the adult refugee program may come with them.

How are refugee youth placed in homes?

URM YOUTH (Unaccompanied Refugee Minor)


The UN will contact Catholic Community Services to let them know they have a youth ready to come to the states.


Catholic Community Services contacts EPS and asks if they have a home that will best suit the child and their specific needs.  Ensign then looks over a list of available homes and decides which home currently licensed under Ensign Peak Services might be a good fit for the child.


EPS Staff will then contact the parents of that home and offer the information that we have been given about the child, such as age, gender, medical concerns, academic level, language, ethnicity, and religious practices (if any).


If the parents decide they would like to take the youth into their home we then let CCS know that we have a home that will fit the child. The child is then scheduled to fly to America and will come through a port of entry.  They may or may not travel with an escort.

If parents decide the youth will not fit then they may decline the placement. If they do they will continue to wait until another placement becomes available. (There is no scheduled time for a placement request, so it can take a long time or a short time depending on the circumstances which are out of our control.)

Travel arrangements are then made for the youth. Time to arrival in Utah can vary based on several things. It can take a day or two, a week or several weeks for youth to arrive.


The child/youth will arrive at the airport. The case worker and translator will be at the airport to greet them.  The foster parents may be asked to be there.  All parties will travel to the foster home to introduce youth to a new environment.  The youth’s new life begins.

How do you find state youth?


Other youth who we serve have been placed in the custody of the Division of Child and Family Services or the Division of Juvenile Justice Services for several reasons. Some include the inability of parents to take care of them, neglect, abuse, domestic violence, the death of parents, and behavioral problems.  The state prefers to return youth to their natural home as soon as possible when issues can be resolved, usually within six months to two years.

How are state youth placed in homes?


A DCFS or JJS case worker will contact EPS and ask if there are any homes available for a youth.  Ensign administration will look over information about the youth and decide which home would best fit the youth’s needs.


When we determine a home would be appropriate for the youth’s needs EPS staff will then contact the parents of that home and offer some information that we have been given about the child,  such as health condition, medical concerns, behavioral issues,  religious practice (if any), youth’s special needs, visits with parents, court dates, school, age, gender, etc.   The placement decision takes into account gender and number of family members, school district, and abilities of parents to provide required supervision.


If the foster parent accepts the youth placement, then we proceed with placement arrangements, which may include having a meeting with the youth and the case worker before placement. Arrangements are then made to move the youth. This can sometimes be immediate or take several weeks based on factors out of our control. Parents are notified of the wait time.

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