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Protecting Children in Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children's Bureau., ICF International. |
|Year Published: 2009|
Glossary of Terms
Addiction – the overpowering physical or psychological urge to continue alcohol or drug use in spite of adverse consequences. Often, there is an increase in tolerance for the drug and withdrawal symptoms sometimes occur if the drug is discontinued.
Adjudicatory Hearings - held by the juvenile and family court to determine whether a child has been maltreated or whether another legal basis exists for the State to intervene to protect the child.
Adoption and Safe Families Act - signed into law November 1997 and 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 child protective services (CPS) agencies to provide more timely and focused assessment and intervention services to the children and families who are served within the CPS system.
Alcoholism – a dependency on alcohol characterized by craving and loss of control over its consumption, physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, and tolerance.
AOD – alcohol and other drugs.
Assessment – evaluation or appraisal of a candidate's suitability for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and placement in a specific treatment modality or setting. This evaluation includes information regarding current and past SUDs; justice system involvement; medical, familial, social, education, military, employment, and treatment histories; and risk for infectious diseases (e.g., sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis).
CASA - court-appointed special advocates (usually volunteers) who serve to ensure that the needs and interests of a child judicial proceedings are fully protected.
Case Closure - the process of ending the relationship between the CPS worker and the family that often involves a mutual assessment of progress. 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, goals, and tasks necessary to be achieved in order to reduce the risk of maltreatment.
Caseworker Competency - demonstrated professional behaviors based on the knowledge, skills, personal qualities, and values a person holds.
Central Registry - a centralized database containing information on all substantiated/founded reports of child maltreatment in a selected area (typically a State).
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) - see Keeping Children and Families Safe Act.
Child Protective Services (CPS) - the designated social services agency (in most States) to receive reports, investigate, and provide intervention and treatment services to children and families in which child maltreatment has occurred. Frequently, this agency is located within larger public agencies, such as departments of social services.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – a school of psychotherapy that originated in the United States and subscribes to a behavioral emphasis on stimulus-response relationships and psychological learning theory.
Concurrent Planning - identifies alternative forms of permanency by addressing simultaneously both reunification and legal permanency with a new parent or caregiver, should reunification efforts fail.
Craving – a powerful, often uncontrollable, desire for drugs, alcohol, or other substances.
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 served.
Denial – a psychological defense mechanism disavowing the significance of events. Denial also can include a range of psychological maneuvers designed to reduce awareness of the fact that using a substance (or engaging in a behavior) is the cause of an individual's problems rather than a solution to those problems. Denial can be a major obstacle to recovery.
Detoxification – process in a structured medical or social milieu in which the individual is monitored for withdrawal from the acute physical and psychological effects of drug or alcohol addiction.
Differential Response - an area of CPS reform that offers greater flexibility in responding to allegations of abuse and neglect. Also referred to as "dual track" or "multi-track" response, it permits CPS agencies to respond differentially to children's needs for safety, the degree of risk present, and the family's needs for services and support. See "dual track."
Disclosure – a communication of client- or patient-identifying information or the communication of information from the record of a client or patient who has been identified.
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 the services the children and family will need to reduce the risk of maltreatment and to address its effects.
Drug – a substance that, by its chemical nature, affects the structure or function of a living organism.
Dual Diagnosis (also Dual Disorder) – a term used to describe a condition in which a single person has more than one major clinical psychological or psychiatric diagnosis. Often, this phrase is used to describe people who have a severe mental illness as well as a co-existing SUD.
Dual Track - term reflecting new CPS response systems that typically combine a nonadversarial service-based assessment track for cases where children are not at immediate risk with a traditional CPS investigative track for cases where children are unsafe or at greater risk for maltreatment. See "differential response."
Evaluation of Family Progress - the stage of the CPS case process during which the CPS caseworker measures changes in family behaviors and conditions (risk factors), monitors risk elimination or reduction, assesses strengths, and determines case closure.
Family Assessment - the stage of the child protection process during which 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 Group Conferencing - a family meeting model used by CPS agencies to optimize family strengths in the planning process. This model brings the family, extended family, and others important in the family's life (e.g., friends, clergy, neighbors) together to make decisions regarding how best to ensure the safety of the family members.
Family Unity Model - a family meeting model used by CPS agencies to optimize family strengths in the planning process. This model is similar to the Family Group Conferencing model.
Full Disclosure - CPS information to the family regarding the steps in the intervention process, the requirements of CPS, the expectations for the family, the consequences if the family does not fulfill the expectations, and the rights of the parents to ensure that the family completely understands the process.
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 lay person who serves in this role is sometimes known as a court-appointed special advocate or CASA.
Habituation – the result of repeated consumption of a drug that produces psychological, but not physical, dependence. The psychological dependence produces a desire (not a compulsion) to continue taking drugs for the sense of improved well-being.
Home Visitation Programs - prevention programs that offer a variety of family-focused services to pregnant women and 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 services, and advocacy.
Immunity - established in all child abuse laws to protect reporters from civil law suits and criminal prosecution resulting from filing a report of child abuse and neglect.
Initial Assessment or Investigation - the stage of the CPS case process during which 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 ensure the child's protection, and determines services needed.
Intake - the stage of the CPS case process in which the CPS caseworker screens and accepts reports of child maltreatment.
Interview Protocol - a structured format to ensure that all family members are seen in a planned strategy, that community providers collaborate, and that information gathering is thorough.
Involuntary Commitment – process by which patients who have not committed any crime are brought to SUD treatment against their wishes by relatives, police, or through a court proceeding. Also known as "protective custody" or "emergency commitment."
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 CAPTA in its 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.
Liaison - a person within an organization who has responsibility for facilitating communication, collaboration, and coordination between agencies involved in the child protection system.
Mandated Reporter - individuals 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 professionals, such as educators and other school personnel, health care and mental health professionals, social workers, child care providers, and law enforcement officers. Some States identify all citizens as mandated reporters.
Memorandum of Understanding – an agreement between two or more organizations to define a given relationship and each party's responsibilities within the agreement.
Multidisciplinary Team - established between agencies and professionals within the child protection system to discuss cases of child abuse and neglect and to aid in decisions at various stages of the CPS case process. These teams also may be designated by different names, including child protection teams, interdisciplinary teams, or case consultation teams.
Neglect - the failure to provide for a 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). Educational neglect includes failure to provide appropriate schooling, failure to address special educational needs, or allowing excessive truancies. Psychological neglect includes the lack of any emotional support and love, chronic inattention to the child, exposure to spouse, drug, or alcohol abuse.
Neurotransmitters – a group of chemicals in the brain that transmit nerve impulses from one neuron to another across a space called a synapse. Drugs act on the brain at the neurotransmitter level. The presence of a drug in the brain changes how many neurotransmitters are available to send nerve impulses from one neuron to the next. The level or amount of a drug in the brain affects how well different kinds of chemical signals are transmitted, changing how an individual thinks and feels.
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.
Parens Patriae Doctrine - originating in feudal England, a doctrine that vests in the State a right of guardianship of minors. This concept has gradually evolved into the principle that the community, in addition to the parent, has a strong interest in the care and nurturing of children. Schools, juvenile courts, and social service agencies all derive their authority from the State's power to ensure the protection and rights of children as a unique class.
Parent or Caretaker - person responsible for the care of the child.
Patient Placement Criteria – standards of, or guidelines for, SUD treatment that describe specific conditions under which patients should be admitted to a particular level of care, under which they should continue to remain in that level of care, and under which they should be discharged or transferred to another level. They generally describe the settings, staff, and services appropriate to each level of care and establish guidelines based on diagnosis and other specific areas of patient assessment.
Physical Abuse - the inflicting of a nonaccidental physical injury. This may include, burning, hitting, punching, shaking, kicking, beating, or otherwise harming a child. It may, however, have been the result of over-discipline or physical punishment that is inappropriate to the child's age.
Prevention – the theory and means for reducing the harmful effects of drug use in specific populations. Prevention objectives are to protect individuals before signs or symptoms of substance use problems appear, to identify persons in the early stages of substance abuse and intervene, and to end compulsive use of psychoactive substances through treatment.
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.
Protocol - an interagency agreement that delineates joint roles and responsibilities by establishing criteria and procedures for working together on cases of child abuse and neglect.
Psychological Maltreatment - a pattern of caregiver behavior or extreme incidents that convey to children that they are worthless, flawed, unloved, unwanted, endangered, or only of value to meeting another's needs. This can include parents or caretakers using extreme or bizarre forms of punishment or threatening or terrorizing a child. Psychological maltreatment also is known as emotional abuse or neglect, verbal abuse, or mental abuse.
Recovery – achieving and sustaining a state of health in which the individual no longer engages in problematic behavior or psychoactive substance use and is able to establish and accomplish goals.
Relapse – the return to the pattern of substance abuse or addiction, as well as the process during which indicators appear before the client's resumption of substance use.
Response Time - a determination made by CPS and law enforcement regarding the immediacy of the response needed to a report of child abuse or neglect.
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 - the measurement of the likelihood that a child will be maltreated in the future; frequently carried out through the use of checklists, matrices, scales, and other methods.
Risk Factors - behaviors and conditions present in the child, parent, or family that likely will contribute to child maltreatment occurring in the future.
Safety - absence of an imminent or immediate threat of moderate to serious harm to the child.
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.
Safety Plan - a casework document developed when it is determined that the child is in imminent or potential risk of serious harm. In the safety plan, the caseworker targets the factors that are causing or contributing to the risk of imminent serious harm to the child, and identifies, along with the family, the interventions that will control them and ensure the child's protection.
Secondary Prevention - activities targeted to prevent breakdowns and dysfunctions among families who have been identified as being at risk for abuse and neglect.
Service Agreement - the casework document developed between the CPS caseworker and the family, which outlines the tasks necessary to achieve risk reduction goals and outcomes.
Service Provision - the stage of the CPS casework process during which CPS and other service providers offer specific services to reduce the risk of maltreatment.
Sexual Abuse - inappropriate adolescent or adult 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, sexual exploitation, or exposure to pornography. To be considered child abuse, these acts have to be committed by a person responsible for the care of a child (for example a babysitter, 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 by the police and criminal courts.
Substance Abuse – a pattern of substance use resulting in clinically significant physical, mental, emotional, or social impairment or distress, such as failure to fulfill major role responsibilities, or use in spite of physical hazards, legal problems, or interpersonal and social problems.
Substance Dependence – see "addiction."
Substance Use – consumption of low or infrequent doses of alcohol and other drugs, sometimes called experimental, casual, or social use, such that damaging consequences may be rare or minor.
Substance Use Disorder (SUD) – a medical condition that includes the abuse of or addiction to (or dependence on) alcohol or drugs.
Substantiated - an investigation disposition concluding that the allegation of maltreatment or risk of maltreatment was supported or founded by State law or State policy. A CPS determination means that credible evidence exists that child abuse or neglect has occurred.
System of Care – a comprehensive continuum of child welfare, SUD, and other support services coordinated to meet the multiple, evolving needs of clients.
Tertiary Prevention – treatment efforts geared to address situations in which child maltreatment already has occurred, with the goals of preventing child maltreatment from occurring in the future and of avoiding the harmful effects of child maltreatment.
Tolerance – a state in which the body's tissue cells adjust to the presence of a drug in given amounts and eventually fail to respond to ordinarily effective dosages. Consequently, increasingly larger doses are necessary to produce desired effects.
Treatment - the stage of the child protection case process during which specific services are delivered by CPS and other 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 toward the general public with the goal of stopping maltreatment before it starts. Also referred to as "primary prevention."
Unsubstantiated (also 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 means that credible evidence does not exist that child abuse or neglect has occurred.
Withdrawal – symptoms that appear during the process of stopping the use of a drug that has been taken regularly.
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