Kris’ Corner – The ABC’s of Foster Care

July 9, 2020

So I wanted to take a few minutes to give you the 411 on the ABCs of FC. For some reason, these seem to be on the DL, so oftentimes you have to guess what they *might* mean. But they don’t need to be on the QT…so here’s is your starter list for talking to those already in the Foster Care world, or when joining online support groups, reading blog posts, etc.

ACV — Alleged Child Victim (identifier in some states surrounding Indiana for a child who is the alleged victim of abuse or neglect)

AD – Adopted Daughter (this can also have a number behind it to denote her age)

ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder

ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

A/N — Abuse and/or Neglect

AP — Alleged Perpetrator (identifier in some states surrounding Indiana for a person [minor or adult] who is alleged to have abused or neglected a minor child)

AS – Adopted Son (this can also have a number behind it to denote his age)

BD – Birth Dad or Biological Dad

BF – Birth Family or Biological Family

BM – Birth Mother or Biological Mom

CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocate (a person appointed by the court to advocate for abused or neglected children; this is a volunteer role)

CFT — Child and Family Team (made up of DCS Family Case Managers, family members, and any other professionals and providers involved in the family case.  In some cases, the foster family and pre-adoptive family is included on this team.)

CFTM — Child and Family Team Meeting (a meeting of DCS, the family, and any professionals providing services to the family, generally to review the progress of the case and consider recommendations.)

CW – Case Worker

DCS — Department of Child Services (a state agency that is in charge of social programs, including those for children in foster care) This is the name in Indiana. If you know foster parents in another state, they might use one of these other names and acronyms:

  • CPS – Child Protective Services
  • DCF — Department of Children and Families
  • DCFS — Department of Children and Family Services
  • DSS — Department of Social Services
  • DHS — Department of Human Services

DV — Domestic Violence

ED – Emotionally Disturbed (a term defined in United States Federal Law used for children with such severe emotional problems that adversely affects their ability to learn in an educational setting)

EPSDT — Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnotic and Treatment (the type of comprehensive physical health examination required by Medicaid for children in foster care)

FAS – Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

FASD – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (the physical, neurological and mental birth defects caused by a woman’s consumption of alcohol during pregnancy)

FCM — Family Case Manager

FC — Foster Care

FD – Foster Daughter (this can also have a number behind it to denote her age)

FH — Foster Home

FMLA – Family Medical Leave Act (United States Federal Law requiring larger employers to provide employees unpaid leave for serious health conditions, to care for a sick family member, or to care for a newborn or adopted or foster child)

FS – Foster Son (this can also have a number behind it to denote his age)

FTT – Failure to Thrive (underdevelopment and lack of growth in a child; symptoms can include height, weight, and head circumference below standard growth charts)

GAL – Guardian Ad Litem (a person appointed by the court to represent the “best interest of the child”)

GH — Group Home

HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (United States Federal Law that make it easier for people to keep health insurance, protect the confidentiality and security of healthcare information)

ICAMA – Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (an agreement between states that ensures continued provision of all of the benefits of an adoption subsidy agreement, including Medicaid services, regardless of the state of residence of the child)

ICPC – Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (a statutory agreement between all 50 states that governs the placement of children from one state into another state; it sets forth the requirements that must be met before a child can be placed out of state)

ICWA – Indian Child Welfare Act (United States Federal Law that regulates custody and placement of Native American children not only in foster care, but also in adoption proceedings; the law gives preference to a child’s extended family or to a member of the child’s tribe over a non-Native American adoptive parent)

IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (United States Federal Law that requires schools to provide students with a disability an education that is tailored to their individual special needs)

IEP – Individualized Educational Plan (an individualized document that is required for a child who receives special education services and is designed to address each child’s unique learning issues and include specific educational goals)

ODD – Oppositional Defiant Disorder (a disorder in a child marked by defiant and disobedient behavior to authority figures)

OHI – Other Health Impairment (a chronic condition that causes struggles in the classroom, such as ADD, ADHD, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome)

OT — Occupational Therapy

PT — Physical Therapy

RAD – Reactive Attachment Disorder (a condition found in children who may have received grossly negligent care and do not form a healthy emotional attachment with their primary caregivers — usually their mothers — before age 5)

RT – Residential Treatment (a live-in facility that provides mental health and behavioral treatment)

SAO — Sexual Acting Out (when a child engages is abnormal behavior that is a response to being exposed to sexual acts or has been sexually abused)

SLP – Speech Language Pathologist

ST — Speech Therapy

SW – Social Worker

TBRI — Trust Based Relational Intervention (an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. It uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors.)

TFC — Therapeutic Foster Care

TPR – Termination of Parental Rights (an involuntary legal removal of a parent’s rights to their children through the judicial system)

WIC – Women, Infants and Children (Federal program that provides vouchers for food and formula for infants and children under 5 years old; foster children are automatically eligible)

310 — In Indiana, the numeric reference for an allegation of A/N (abuse or neglect)

311 — In Indiana, the numeric reference for the final report of an assessment of alleged abuse or neglect with findings of “substantiated” or “unsubstantiated”.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but it’s a decent start, as you begin (or consider beginning) your journey into Foster Care. And feel free to hit me up with others you’ve run across!