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FAQ

Q1: What does it cost to take advantage of your services?

All services are free, except for the substance abuse treatment program, which is based on a sliding fee scale. Substance abuse treatment fees depend on your ability to pay; Medicaid is accepted. For all other programs, the only cost to you is your time and commitment.

Q2: How long can Youth Services help me and/or my child?

It depends on the program. Crisis counseling at the Juvenile Receiving Center has no limits attached until the youth's 18th birthday; it can be used as often as needed. For the ongoing counseling, services are limited to 60 calendar days, which is about eight, 50-minute sessions with a therapist. However, this time frame can be extended depending on the situation and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Q3: What if my child refuses counseling?

Parents can consult with Youth Services to get ideas on parenting ungovernable youth or ask about our parenting group, Staying Connected with Your Youth.

Q4: How long can I leave my child at Youth Services?

The average length of stay for a youth in crisis is 3 hours or less. If the counselor you meet with feels it is therapeutically appropriate, additional time (up to 48 hours) may be authorized.

Q5: What can I do if my child isn't coming home at night?

If a youth is not obeying curfew, he/she is committing a "status offense", which means it is against the law for a minor. Parents who feel their youth is breaking this law and out of control can call the police and have them picked up for this offense. The police can bring these youth to the Juvenile Receiving Center where the youth and the parents can meet with a crisis therapist to learn more why the youth is behaving this way. Parents can also bring their youth to the Juvenile Receiving Center at any time or can call Main Office 385 468-4500 / West Jordan Office 385 468-4610 to set up a free counseling appointment with our family therapists.

Q6: What do I do if I suspect my youth is using drugs or alcohol?

First, contact Salt Lake County Substance Abuse at Main Office 385 468-4500 / West Jordan Office 385 468-4610 and schedule an appointment for a substance abuse evaluation. Be sure to clarify that the evaluation is for a minor. If they find that the youth is using a substance, they will then refer them for treatment, possibly here at Youth Services.

Q7: What is the definition of a runaway?

Any youth under age 18 who leaves home or another approved placement without parental or guardian consent is considered a runaway.

Q8: What do I do if my youth has run away?

If a youth has runaway, he/she is committing a "status offense, which means it is against the law for a minor. Parents can call the police to report a runaway and have them picked up for this offense. The police will usually ask if the parents know where they might be so try to learn where the friends are and how to contact them. The police can bring these youth to the Juvenile Receiving Center where the youth and the parents can meet with a crisis therapist to learn more why the youth is behaving this way. Parents can also bring their youth to the Juvenile Receiving Center at any time or can call Main Office 385 468-4500 / West Jordan Office 385 468-4610 to set up a free counseling appointment with our family therapists.

Q9: What is the definition of an ungovernable youth?

Any youth under age 18 who fails to comply with reasonable requests of a parent or approved caregiver to the point they are beyond control of the parent or caregiver is considered ungovernable.

Q10: What can I do if my youth is not going to school?

Truancy is considered a "status offense", which means it is against the law for a minor. Parents can call the police to report truancy and have them picked up for this offense. The police can bring these youth to the Juvenile Receiving Center where the youth and the parents can meet with a crisis therapist to learn more why the youth is behaving this way. Parents can also bring their youth to the Juvenile Receiving Center at any time or can call 385 468-4500 to set up a free counseling appointment with our family therapists.

Q11: Is running away or ungovernable behavior against the law?

Yes. Legislation gives original jurisdiction over runaway and ungovernable youth to the Division of Juvenile Justice Services. This means that police can arrest youth for these offenses without the charge being referred to the juvenile court.

Q12: What do volunteers do?

Volunteers provide individualized care and attention for the youth in shelter care and mentor youth in the After-School program. They can help supervise the daily activities, help plan parties and games, provide a listening ear or share a special talent, such as playing an instrument, sewing, sports, gardening, painting and more. Volunteers can also organize a donation drive or help with maintenance of the grounds.

Q13: What times are available to volunteer?

If you are interested in volunteering with the youth in shelter, meaning the Christmas Box House or Shelter Care, the best time to volunteer is nights and weekends when the youth are out of school. The After School Program runs Mon-Fri from 3-6 PM.  

Q14: What kind of time commitment is there to volunteer?

The volunteer program is flexible and will work with you and your schedule; there is no minimum time requirement for volunteers. Most volunteers sign up for the same day every week for 1-2 hours.