For clarity and organization, we’ve left off some of the more peripheral county programs that have less of an impact on the everyday lives of Utah County residents. The County’s Information Systems Department, for example, may provide critical tech support to governmental agencies, but most residents don’t need to learn about the management of computer-based workstations at the County Assessor’s Office.
But even putting these technocratic agencies aside, there are numerous governmental departments in Utah County that serve essential functions in promoting the health and well-being of local residents and their families. Even to the extent that it can be difficult to know exactly where to turn to for specific kinds of public services. With this in mind, here’s our roundup of county agencies and the types of services they offer to our local communities.
Featured List of Utah County Departments
Family and Community Health Department—Utah County has a main Health Department that you can find here, but for the average resident, this is just a landing portal to find any number of specific divisions and programs within this umbrella agency. If you’re looking for information on specific community-based health services (immunizations, blood tests, family planning, HIV testing, physicals, fluoride prescriptions, STIs/STDs, child health evaluations, others), you might head straight to the Community Health Department.
Environmental Health Department—This agency monitors, responds to, and educates the public about various environmental health hazards. From food service to drinking water, from air pollution to wastewater, from hazardous waste to underground storage tanks, from pools to tanning beds to body art, you can find all kinds of testing and remediation services through this department. You can also check the smog rating of the new car you’re shopping for.
Housing Authority of Utah County—The Housing Authority Department is responsible for helping eligible families find safe and affordable housing opportunities. In addition to Section 8 affordable housing, existing homeowners may also be eligible to make their home more energy-efficient and thus more affordable to live. This financial and logistical assistance originates from the U.S. Weatherization Assistance Program.
Senior Services—This division of the health department focuses on two programs specifically. The Foster Grandparents Program give seniors volunteer opportunities to serve as mentors, tutors, and caregivers for at-risk children and youth. The organization will work with you to find the best placement in a school, hospital, drug treatment or correctional facility, or day-care center. Senior Services also manages the Senior Companion Program, which is a program where seniors can donate their time to assist homebound seniors with their groceries, bills, transportation, and temporary caregiving.
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program of Utah County—This health and wellness program for women and children provides supplemental food resources, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to other county agencies. In 2010, the program served more than 9 million people, including 7 million children and infants. To qualify for the program, you must meet certain income, residential, and nutritional risk requirements. There are 4 WIC Clinics in Utah County (Provo, Orem, American Fork, and Payson).
Children’s Justice Center—This is an organization with a home facility for children and families who have experienced child abuse. It encourages and receives reports of child abuse. The CJC coordinates with local law enforcement in child abuse investigations. It provides forensic exams and mental health assessments. It provides support services for victims and witnesses and oversees a child mentor and volunteer program for those who want to help.
Utah County 4-H—This youth development program finds adult volunteers who provide learning opportunities in various clubs, camps, events, and school programs for children 5 and above. The name comes from the 4-H pledge: “I pledge my Head to clearer thinking/my Heart to greater loyalty/my Hands to larger service/my Health to better living….For my club, my community, my country and my world.”
Fire Department—The county fire department promotes public safety and education, provides emergency response services, and ensures adequate training for all department employees. Specific units are equipped with Wildland and Urban Interface Engines and Type 2 Initial Attach Handcrews. A division within the Sheriff’s Office and a federal and state cooperator, the fire department may also respond to incidents on BLM, Forest Service, and State lands. Utah County also has a Fire Marshal responsible for overseeing businesses and commercial buildings.
Disaster Plans and Emergency Preparedness—Rather than try to identify and research every potential disaster that might ever befall Utah County, this department has done the legwork for you. Here, you can find information about specific types of emergencies disasters—from high winds to gas leaks to power outages to terrorism. You can also find resources for family disaster supply kits to emergency contact cards to helping children cope with disasters.