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The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, U.S. Children's Bureau Rosenberg, Jeffrey., Wilcox, W. Bradford.|
|Year Published: 2006|
Appendix A - Glossary of Terms
Adjudicatory Hearings - held by the juvenile and family court to determine whether a child has been maltreated or whether some other legal basis exists for the State to intervene to protect the child.
Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) - signed into law November 1997, ASFA was designed to improve the safety of children, to promote adoption and other permanent homes for children who need them, and to support families. The law requires CPS agencies to provide more timely and focused assessment and intervention services to the children and families that are served within the CPS system.
CASA - court-appointed special advocates (usually volunteers) who serve to ensure that the needs and interests of a child in child protection judicial proceedings are fully protected.
Case Closure - the process of ending the relationship between the CPS worker and the family. Case closure involves a mutual assessment of progress and includes a review of the beginning, middle, and end of the helping relationship. Optimally, cases are closed when families have achieved their goals and the risk of maltreatment has been reduced or eliminated.
Case Plan - the casework document that outlines the outcomes and goals necessary to be achieved to reduce the risk of maltreatment.
Case Planning - the stage of the CPS case process where the CPS caseworker develops a case plan with the family members.
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) - see Keeping Children and Families Safe Act.
Child Advocacy Center - community-based and child-friendly facilities designed to coordinate services to victims of nonfatal abuse and neglect, especially cases of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse.
Child Protective Services (CPS) - the designated social services agency (in most States) to receive reports, investigate, and provide rehabilitation or treatment services to children and families in which child maltreatment has occurred. Frequently, this agency is located within larger public social service agencies, such as Departments of Social Services.
Concurrent Planning - identifying alternative forms of permanency; that is, addressing both how reunification can be achieved and how legal permanency with a new parent or caregiver can be achieved if reunification efforts fail.
Cultural Competence - a set of attitudes, behaviors, and policies that integrates knowledge about groups of people into practices and standards to enhance the quality of services to all cultural groups being served.
Differential Response - an area of CPS reform that offers greater flexibility in responding to allegations of abuse and neglect. A "differential response," also referred to as "dual track" or multi-track" response, permits CPS agencies to respond differentially to children's needs for safety, the degree of risk present, and the family's need for services and support.
Dispositional Hearings - held by the juvenile and family court to determine the disposition of children after cases have been adjudicated such as whether placement of the child in out-of-home care is necessary and what services the children and family will need to reduce the risk of maltreatment and to address the effects of maltreatment.
Emergency Hearings - held by the juvenile and family court to determine the need for emergency protection of a child who may have been a victim of alleged maltreatment.
Evaluation of Family Progress - the stage of the CPS case process where the CPS caseworker measures changes in the family behaviors and conditions (risk factors); monitors risk elimination or reduction; assesses strengths; and determines when the CPS case can be closed.
Exposure to Violence - when children live in an environment of domestic violence, whether the child actually witnesses the violence or not (i.e., hearing, observing, or intervening in the violence or its aftermath).
Family Assessment - the stage of the child protection process when the CPS caseworker, community treatment provider, and the family reach a mutual understanding regarding the behaviors and conditions that must change to reduce or eliminate the risk of maltreatment; the most critical treatment needs that must be addressed; and the strengths on which to build.
Family Meetings - child protection activity that brings together the family, extended family, and others important in the family's life (e.g., friends, clergy, neighbors) to make decisions on how best to ensure safety of the family members and reduce risk of maltreatment.
Guardian ad Litem - a lawyer or lay person who represents a child in juvenile or family court. Usually this person considers the "best interest" of the child and may perform a variety of roles, including those of independent investigator, advocate, advisor, and guardian for the child. A layperson who serves in this role is known sometimes as a court-appointed special advocate, or CASA.
Home Visitation Programs - prevention programs that offer a variety of family-focused services to pregnant mothers or families with new babies. Activities frequently encompass structured visits to the family's home and may address positive parenting practices, nonviolent discipline techniques, child development, maternal and child health, available social services, and advocacy.
Indicated Prevention - services for families where maltreatment has already occurred to reduce the negative consequences of the maltreatment and to prevent its recurrence. See also "tertiary prevention."
Initial Assessment or Investigation - the stage of the CPS case process where the CPS caseworker determines the validity of the child maltreatment report, assesses the risk of maltreatment, determines if the child is safe, develops a safety plan if needed to assure the child's protection, and determines services needed.
Intake - the stage of the child protection case process when community professionals and the general public report suspected incidents of child abuse and neglect to CPS or the police; CPS staff and the police must determine the appropriateness of the report and the urgency of the response needed.
Juvenile and Family Courts - established in most States to resolve conflict and to otherwise intervene in the lives of families in a manner that promotes the best interest of children. These courts specialize in areas such as child maltreatment, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, divorce, child custody, and child support.
Keeping Children and Families Safe Act - The Keeping Children and Families Safe Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-36) included the reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) in Title I, Sec. 111. CAPTA provides minimum standards for defining child physical abuse and neglect and sexual abuse that States must incorporate into their statutory definitions in order to receive Federal funds. CAPTA defines child abuse and neglect as "at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm."
Kinship Care - formal child placement by the juvenile court and child welfare agency in the home of a child's relative (e.g., grandmother).
Long-distance Dads - fathers who are unable to live with their children for a period of time for such reasons as military deployment, job responsibilities, or divorce.
Mandated Reporter - groups of professionals required by State statutes to report suspected child abuse and neglect to the proper authorities (usually CPS or law enforcement agencies). Mandated reporters typically include: educators and other school personnel, health care and mental health professionals, social workers, childcare providers, and law enforcement officers.
Neglect - the failure to provide for the child's basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional. Physical neglect can include not providing adequate food or clothing, appropriate medical care, supervision, or proper weather protection (heat or coats). It may include abandonment. Educational neglect includes failure to provide appropriate schooling or special educational needs, allowing excessive truancies. Psychological neglect includes the lack of any emotional support and love, never attending to the child, spousal abuse, drug and alcohol abuse including allowing the child to participate in drug and alcohol use.
Noncustodial or Nonresidential Fathers - fathers who do not live with their children for various reasons (e.g., divorce, nonmarriage, job relocation, incarceration).
Out-of-Home Care - child care, foster care, or residential care provided by persons, organizations, and institutions to children who are placed outside their families, usually under the jurisdiction of juvenile or family court.
Parent or Caregiver - person responsible for the care of the child.
Physical Abuse - the inflicting of physical injury upon a child. This may include, burning, hitting, punching, shaking, kicking, beating, or otherwise harming a child. Though the parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child, the injury is not an accident. It may, however, have been the result of over-discipline or physical punishment that is inappropriate to the child's age.
Primary Prevention - activities geared to a sample of the general population to prevent child abuse and neglect from occurring. Also referred to as universal prevention.
Protective Factors - Strengths and resources that appear to mediate or serve as a "buffer" against risk factors that contribute to vulnerability to maltreatment or against the negative effects of maltreatment experiences.
Psychological Maltreatment - a repeated pattern of caregiver behavior or extreme incidents that convey to children that they are worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value in meeting another's needs. This can include parents or caretakers using extreme or bizarre forms of punishment or threatening or terrorizing a child. Other forms of psychological maltreatment include spurning, belittling, using derogatory terms to describe the child, habitual scapegoating or blaming, exploiting, and refusing needed treatment. The term "psychological maltreatment" is also known as emotional abuse or neglect, verbal abuse, and mental abuse.
Response Time - a determination made by CPS and law enforcement after receiving a child abuse report regarding the immediacy of the response needed by CPS or law enforcement.
Review Hearings - held by the juvenile and family court to review dispositions (usually every 6 months) and to determine the need to maintain placement in out-of-home care or court jurisdiction of a child.
Risk - the likelihood that a child will be maltreated in the future.
Risk Assessment - an assessment and measurement of the likelihood that a child will be maltreated in the future, frequently through the use of checklists, matrices, scales, or other methods of measurement.
Risk Factors - behaviors and conditions present in the caregiver, family, child, or environment, which contribute to the increased likelihood of child maltreatment occurring in the future.
Safety Assessment - a part of the CPS case process in which available information is analyzed to identify whether a child is in immediate danger of moderate or serious harm.
Secondary Prevention - activities targeted to prevent breakdowns and dysfunctions among families who have been identified as at risk for abuse and neglect. Also referred to as selective prevention.
Selective Prevention - activities and services for families at high risk of maltreatment intended to alleviate the conditions associated with problem. Also referred to as secondary prevention.
Service Provision - the stage of the CPS casework process when CPS and other service providers provide specific treatment services geared toward the reduction of risk of maltreatment.
Sexual Abuse - inappropriate sexual behavior with a child. It includes fondling a child's genitals, making the child fondle the adult's genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism and sexual exploitation. To be considered child abuse these acts have to be committed by a person responsible for the care of a child (for example a baby-sitter, a parent, or a day care provider) or related to the child. If a stranger commits these acts, it would be considered sexual assault and handled solely be the police and criminal courts.
Shelter - a short-term, undisclosed haven for adult victims of intimate partner violence and their children where they are provided with safety, confidentiality, advocacy, and access to resources related to their victimization.
Substantiated - an investigation disposition that concludes that the allegation of maltreatment or risk of maltreatment was supported or founded by State law or State policy. A CPS determination that credible evidence exists that child abuse or neglect has occurred.
Tertiary Prevention - treatment efforts geared to address situations where child maltreatment has already occurred with the goals of preventing child maltreatment from occurring in the future and avoiding the harmful effects of child maltreatment. Also referred to as indicated prevention.
Treatment - the stage of the child protection case process when specific services are provided by CPS and other service providers to reduce the risk of maltreatment, support families in meeting case goals, and address the effects of maltreatment.
Universal Prevention - activities and services directed at the general public with the goal of stopping the occurrence of maltreatment before it starts. Also referred to as primary prevention.
Unsubstantiated (Not Substantiated) - an investigation disposition that determines that there is not sufficient evidence under State law or policy to conclude that the child has been maltreated or is at risk of maltreatment. A CPS determination that credible evidence does not exist that child abuse or neglect has occurred.
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