Agency History #2


The Division of Aging and Adult Services, created in 1967 as the Division on Aging, is responsible for developing a comprehensive and coordinated system to deliver services to Utah's adult and elderly population. The agency was known as the Division on Aging until 1983 when the current name was adopted.


All of the functions, powers, duties, rights, and responsibilities of the Council on Aging that were executive or administrative in nature were delegated to the Division of Aging by executive order in 1967 and statutorily assigned in 1969.

The Division of Aging and Adult Services remains primarily an advocate of the interests of the adult and elderly population of Utah. It does not provide services directly. The division is responsible for developing state plans; reviewing and approving local area plans; preparing, bidding, monitoring, and evaluating contracts; providing program and fiscal technical assistance to area agencies and district staff; training state and local staff and volunteers; coordinating commodity funds distribution; and being an advocate of aging programs. It is also responsible for providing a long-term ombudsman program to assure that the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents of long-term care facilities are protected.

Empowered by the enabling act to handle all federal programs "related to aging requiring action within the state," Aging and Adult Services is responsible for administering the 1965 federal Older Americans Act (and subsequent amendments) at the state level. Using funds authorized by a 1972 amendment to provide nutrition services to the elderly, the division in 1975 began implementing such programs on a state level. A three-tiered aging network comprised of federal, state, and local agencies was facilitated through 1973 amendments stipulating that the state be divided into planning and services areas and that an area agency on aging be designated to develop and administer the plan. This led to the advent of area councils. Three priority services (access, in-home services, and legal services) were already operating in Utah when specified in the 1975 amendments. Social services, nutrition services, and multipurpose senior center programs were consolidated under one title by a 1978 amendment, which also reemphasized the concept of a single focal point for service delivery within each community.

Adult social services programs were administratively transferred from the Division of Family Services to the Division of Aging in 1979 by the executive director of the Department of Social Services. The boards of both divisions continued to share responsibility for determining policy for adult social programs until 1983 when the legislature made the Division of Aging and Adult Services responsible for adult and protective services for the disabled adult and aging citizen. The legislature transferred authority to license adult day care centers from the Division of Family Services to Aging and Adult Services in 1985, then to the newly created Office of Licensing in 1987.


Aging and Adult Services is under the administration and general direction of a division director and under the policy direction of the Board of Aging and Adult Services (Agency #33). The division director is appointed by the executive director of the Department of Human Services (#1116) with the concurrence of the division board and is required by statute to possess the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage and administer the division's programs. Prior to 1983, the division director was appointed by the Board of Aging and Adult Services.

A chairman appointed by the governor presided over the 11-member Committee on Aging (1959-61). A full-time director appointed by the 11-member Council on Aging (1961-69) acted as chief administrative officer of the council.


The Division on Aging was statutorily created in 1967 through an executive order issued by Governor Calvin L. Rampton declaring that the name of the Council on Aging be changed to the Board on Aging (#33) and that the board's administrative unit be called the Division on Aging. An earlier executive order had placed the Council on Aging within the Department of Health and Welfare (#1116). In amending the 1967 Social Services Act in 1969, the 38th State Legislature formalized Governor Rampton's action by statutorily creating the Division of Aging within the renamed Department of Social Services (#1116).

Although it remains one of the smaller agencies within the Department of Human Services (#1116), the Division of Aging experienced considerable growth in the mid 1970s as the level of federal pass-through funds administered by the division increased to keep pace with the rapidly growing elderly population. The division added an ombudsman in 1981, bringing it into compliance with federal requirements. Upon recommendation that the division's name reflect its responsibility for all adults, the Legislature in 1983 added the phrase "and Adult Services."


Division on Aging, 1967-1983

Division of Aging and Adult Services, 1983-present


Robin Arnold-Williams, D.S.W., (1989-1992)

Percy Devine III, (1989-1992)

Robert K. Ward, (1985-1989)

Lloyd Nelsen, (1984)

Louise P. Lintz, (1981-1983)

Frank Leon PoVey, (1977-1981)

Iver C. ("Ike") Moore, (1972-1977)

Melvin A. White, Ph.D., (1967-1972)

COMPILED BY: W. Glen Fairclough, Jr., September 1990


Administrative Reports (Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1962), pp. 224-25.

Agency History Research Files (Human Services and Aging and Adult Services).

Annual Report, DSS (1971-72), p. 45-57.

Appropriations Report (1977-78), p. 291; (1982-83), pp. 182-83; (1988-89), pp. 192-95; (1989-90), pp. 255-58.

Committee on Executive Reorganization, Report to the Governor and 1981 General Session of the Legislature (December 1980), "Preliminary Recommendations Concerning the Placement of the Divisions of Aging, Alcoholism and Drugs, and Mental Health" (April 1980); Report to the Governor and 1983 General Session of the Legislature (December 1982), pp. 100, 107.

Consolidated Social Services Plan (FY 1982-84), p. C-5; (FY 1987-89), pp. V-1 et seq.

Directory of Services (DSS), 1988, pp. 4-6.

Executive Order by Gov. Calvin L. Rampton, 10 July 1967, Utah Council on Aging placed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Welfare.

Executive Order by Gov. Calvin Rampton, 11 October 1967, Utah Council on Aging becomes the Board on Aging (administrative unit called Division on Aging).

Laws of Utah, 1959 (Chapter 1), Committee on Aging created.

Laws of Utah, 1961 (Chapter 129), Council on Aging created.

Laws of Utah, 1969 (Chapter 197, sections 164-172), Board of Aging created.

Laws of Utah, 1983 (Chapter 287), reorganized as Aging and Adult Services.

Laws of Utah, 1985 (Chapter 150), licensure authority for adult day care transferred to AAS.

Laws of Utah, 1987 (Chapter 141), Office of Licensing created.

Laws of Utah, 1988 (Chapter 1), Social Services recodification; (Sections 37-65 deal with the Division of Aging and Adult Services).

Manual for Legislators, June 1972, p. 48.

Operations Budget (1981-82), p. 114; (1982-83), p. 95; (1984-85), p. 104-105.

Organization Charts (Division)—1969, 1971, 1971-1972, 1972-1973, 1974, 1978-1979, 1981.

Southwick, Stephanie, DSS Manuscript History, Research File.

State and Local Government in Utah (Salt Lake City: Utah Foundation, 1962), p. 139, 211; (1973), p. 141-42; (1979), p. 146.

Touche Ross & Co., Recommendations for Reorganization . . . (December 1971).

Utah Code Annotated, 1953 (1988 amendments), 62A-1-101 to 116, 62A-3-101 to 109, 62A-3-201 to 208, 62A-3-301 to 312.

Page Last Updated July 2, 2003.