Agency History #33


The Board of Aging and Adult Services, created in 1961 as the Council on Aging, has the statutory power and responsibility to set policy for the Division of Aging and Adult Services (Agency #2). The Council on Aging became the Board of Aging in 1969 and adopted its current name in 1983.


Originally, the Committee on Aging was established to assist the U.S. Congress in improving and developing programs to permit the country to take advantage of the experience and skill of older persons, to create conditions to better enable them to meet their needs, and to further research on aging. The committee conducted a state conference on aging to gather facts and reported its findings and recommendations to the White House Conference on Aging.

Since extensive programs in behalf of the aged were already being carried on by the Department of Public Welfare, the Department of Employment Security, the Department of Health, and to some degree by the Department of Education, the Council on Aging was established to provide information, stimulation, and coordination rather than act as a direct service agency.

When the legislature in 1969 statutorily placed the board within the Department of Social Services, lawmakers authorized the board to establish programs and policies for discharging the duties of the division. This included authority to (a) review existing programs for the aging and make recommendations to the division, governor, and the legislature for improvements in such programs; (b) adopt rules and regulations necessary to carry out the purposes of the Social Services Act; and (c) approve the allocation of federal funds received by the division for projects and programs concerning the aging.

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.

Policy-making authority specified in the 1988 revision of the Social Services Code includes: coordinating with local area agencies on aging which receive funds under contract with the division in setting policy; establishing by rule procedures for developing policies which ensure that local area agencies are given opportunity to comment and provide input on any new policy of the board and on proposed changes in existing policy of the board; and providing a mechanism for review of its existing policy and for consideration of policy changes proposed by local area agencies.


Seven members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the State Senate make up the Board of Aging and Adult Services. Members are appointed to four-year terms and are eligible for one reappointment. None may serve more than two terms. A chairperson is elected from among the members of the board. The board is empowered to adopt bylaws to govern its activities.

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 1983 amendment to the Social Services Act also transferred responsibility for appointing the division director from the board to the executive director of the Department of Social Services (#1116).


The Committee on Aging was statutorily created in 1959 by the 33rd State Legislature. Seven appointees and four ex officio members made up the eleven-member committee. Of the seven appointed members, five were named by the governor and one each by the speaker of the house and president of the senate. The four ex officio members included the chairman of the Industrial Commission, the Chairman of the Board of Health, the chairman of the Department of Public Welfare (#1284), and the chairman of the Board of Education.

This body was replaced two years later when the 34th Legislature created the Council on Aging. Consisting of eleven members, the council included three citizen (non-state employee) members appointed by the governor, two each appointed by the speaker of the house and the president of the senate, and one each named by the Industrial Commission, the Department of Health, the Public Welfare Commission (#1310), and the superintendent of public instruction. The Utah Legislative Council served as an advisory council to the Council on Aging.

Two executive orders affecting the Council on Aging were issued in 1967 by Governor Calvin L. Rampton. The first placed the Council on Aging under the jurisdiction of the newly formed Department of Health and Welfare (#1116). The second declared that the name of the Council on Aging be changed to the Board on Aging and that the board's administrative unit be called the Division on Aging. In amending the 1967 Social Services Act in 1969, the 38th State Legislature formalized Governor Rampton's action by statutorily creating a five-member Board of Aging within the renamed Department of Social Services. The board assumed all of the functions, powers, duties, rights, and responsibilities of the Council on Aging except for those which were executive or administrative in nature.

A 1983 amendment produced several changes. Upon recommendation that the board's name reflect its responsibility for all adults, the legislature added the phrase "and Adult Services." The amendment also increased board membership from five to seven.


Council on Aging, 1961-1969

Board of Aging, 1969-1983

Board of Aging and Adult Services, 1983-present


Elaine Bennett, (1992-present)

Lawrell Jensen, (Sept. 1989)-present

W.G. "Bill" Larson, 19xx-(May 1989)

Eldon T. ("Pop") Gray, (1972-1975)

Donald C. Caffall, (1970-1972)

J. Leonard Love (1959-1967??)

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 (1971-1972), p. 45-57.

Appropriations Report (1977-1978), p. 291; (1982-1983), pp. 182-83; (1988-1989), pp. 192-95; (1989-1990), pp. 255-58.

Committee on Executive Reorganization, Report to the Governor and 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. 1981

Consolidated Social Services Plan (FY 1982-1984), p. C-5; (FY 1987-1989), 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 Aging and Adult Services.

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; (1982-1983), p. 95; (1984-1985), 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.