ADD/ADHD – Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder: A common diagnosis for children who demonstrate marked degrees of inattentiveness, children who exhibit impassivity and in some cases, hyperactivity. A medical diagnosis is given to children who exhibit symptoms before the age of seven and medication or behavior modification programs are frequently prescribed. Typical behaviors include: a short attention span, are highly distracted, acting before thinking about the results, constant interrupting, engaging in risky or dangerous behavior. Children with the hyperactive component are squirmy and fidgety, talk excessively and have difficulty participating in quiet activities.
Adoptee – A person who has been adopted.
Adoption – Adoption is a way of meeting the developmental needs of a child by legally transferring ongoing parental responsibilities for that child from the parents to Adoptive Parents and in the process, creating a new kinship network that forever links the birth family and the Adoptive Family through the child who is shared by both. This new kinship network may also include significant foster families, both formal and informal, that have been a part of the child’s experience. The role of Resource Parents is to consider the adoption option when children and youth cannot return to their parents. Through adoption, Adoptive Parents keep the child or youth connected to their past.
Adoption subsidy (AAP) – Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) – AAP is financial and/or medical assistance given on an on-going basis to an adoptive parent to help with the child’s special needs. This subsidy may be provided through federal, state, county and/or local resources. (Also see Title IV-E.)
Best Interest of the Child – “Best Interest” includes concepts of a child’s sense of time, as well as a child’s need for safety, well-being and permanence (a family intended to last a lifetime). Resource Parents serve as advocates for the best interest of the child.
Blind – Used to describe a person with total loss of vision. Persons with partial vision may be described as partially sighted, visually impaired, or persons with partial vision.
Case or Family Conferencing – The caseworker is responsible for periodically bringing together key stakeholders involved with a family and child, to review progress, to assess strengths and needs and to plan with them. Resource Parents attend case conferences and should participate actively to assist in reviewing progress, assessing strengths and needs and planning for the future.
Case Planning – This is a process whereby the Children’s Social Worker helps families make effective plans for the safety, well-being and timely permanence for their children. Resource Parents are active stakeholders in the case planning process, especially as it relates to the child in foster care.
Case Review – Law requires that every child in foster care have a review of his or her case, to confirm that policy and law are being assured. Judicial review happens every six months for every child in out-of-home care. Resource Parents are expected to participate actively in case review.
Cerebral Palsy – A group of conditions resulting from brain damage before, during or shortly after birth. The most obvious symptom is an inability to coordinate or control muscles in one or more parts of the body. There is a wide range in the level of disability. In more serious cases, mental retardation, convulsive disorders and problems with thinking, vision and hearing may occur.
Child Protective Services – The legal intervention of child welfare agencies, through the judicial (court) system, to protect children and families. Resource Parents are often called upon to provide information to the child protective services worker, as well as to testify in court.
Children’s Social Worker (CSW) – The representative who works with the family who is in receiving services from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). This person may work with the birth family, the court, outside agencies providing ancillary services to the child, the child’s out-of-home caregiver (If the child was not able to remain safely at home) and others to ensure that the birth family and/or child are receiving all services needed to facilitate reunification and ensure timely permanence.
Closed adoption –An adoption in which identifying information about the birth parents and adoptive parents is not made available. California is a “closed adoption” state where all identifying information is considered confidential so records containing this confidential information are usually sealed as a result of state law and /or court order.
Concurrent Planning – The development of two permanency goals at the same time; reunification and an alternative permanent plan should reunification efforts prove unsuccessful. Concurrent planning allows for the contingency of finding a resource family which will supports efforts to reunify the child and family yet also, if necessary, adopt a child who cannot return home. Concurrent planning allows child welfare agency staff to petition to: identify, recruit, process and approve a qualified family for adoption while filing the petition to terminate the parental rights of a child’s parents.
Confidentiality – The policy or law limiting information that may be discussed about children and their families. Resource Parents must maintain confidentiality.
Congenital disability – A disability that has existed since birth. Birth defect is no longer considered an appropriate term.
Consolidated Home Study – Also referred to as home study or family assessment. The process of dually preparing a family to obtain a foster care license from the state and assessing the family for the adoption of a child – the two processes have been consolidated into one. It is the practice of educating prospective caregivers for children about adoption, ensuring that their home would be a safe and appropriate place for a child, and determining what kind of child would best fit into that family. Family assessments are usually done by social workers affiliated with a public or private adoption agency. Independent social workers, adoption attorneys and other adoption facilitators may also do family assessments. An approved assessment is required before a child can be placed for adoption.
Creating Alternative Plans – The child welfare agency must begin creating alternative plans for permanency for the child(ren) with the family at the opening of a child welfare case. Alternative plans include relative placement, foster care, guardianship and adoption. Resource Parents work collaboratively with the caseworker..
Custody – The legal responsibility for the care and supervision of a child.