Many child welfare terms are subject to interpretation. The Glossary identifies commonly held definitions for terms that can be found on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website. It defines common acronyms and includes links to information on major Federal legislation and related child welfare terms. The Glossary will be updated as new terminology emerges in the field, as new legislation is enacted, and as child welfare terms take on new meaning.
For additional information on glossary terms, please see our index Search A-Z.
Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program (EPSDT)
The child health component of Medicaid. It is required in every State and is designed to improve the health of low-income children, by financing appropriate and necessary pediatric services. (From HRSA Maternal and Child Health.)
early childhood intervention
A support system or collection of services for infants and children with developmental disabilities or delays and their families under the IDEA Part C program. The term is also used to describe services and supports that promote healthy development and a readiness to learn in children up to age 5 and that create safe, stable, and nurturing families and communities.
Involves the failure of a parent or caregiver to enroll a child of mandatory school age in school or provide appropriate homeschooling or needed special education training, thus allowing the child or youth to engage in chronic truancy.
A pattern of behavior that impairs a child's emotional development or sense of self-worth. This may include constant criticism, threats, or rejection, as well as withholding love, support, or guidance.
employer-provided adoption benefits
Benefits paid by employers to families who adopt, which usually mirror those available to new biological parents. Benefits may include paid or unpaid leave when a child arrives in the home, reimbursement of some portion of adoption expenses, or assistance with adoption services.
The legal process used in some States to establish inheritance rights of a child when the prospective adoptive parent had entered into an oral contract to adopt the child and the child was placed with the parent, but the adoption was not finalized before the prospective adoptive parent died. Laws vary by State.
Behavior or professional conduct that meets the system of moral principles and perceptions about right versus wrong developed and guided by the profession's standards of conduct or code of ethics. (Adapted from the Indiana Department of Child Services.)
Pertaining to or characteristic of a people who share a common and distinct culture, religion, language, or other quality.
Involves approaches to prevention or treatment that are validated by some form of documented scientific evidence. This includes findings established through controlled clinical studies, but other methods of establishing evidence are valid as well.
Use of the best available research and practice knowledge to guide program design and implementation within the context of the child, family and community characteristics, culture and preferences. (Guidelines for Community-Based Grants for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Programs - CBCAP) Also see evidence-based practice.
exempted provider (in intercountry adoption)
Describes social work professionals or organizations that perform home studies on prospective adoptive parents. Exempted providers can also conduct child background studies in the United States in connection with a Convention adoption, but that is not currently providing and has not previously provided any other adoption service in the case. Exempted providers are not required to be accredited, approved, or supervised by an accredited agency or approved person, but the studies they perform must subsequently be approved. (Adapted from the U.S. State Department, Intercountry Adoption.)