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Placement of a foster child in the home of someone who is related to the child by family ties or by a significant prior relationship connection.

The person who has oversight of the court hearing which determines what is in the best interest of a young person in foster care. The judge issues court orders, reads reports, hears arguments and decides whether the youth should be placed in the custody of the state (into foster care).

Minor children cannot make legal decisions for themselves, nor bind themselves legally to any contractual obligations. Therefore, in any legal proceeding where the legal interests of a child and the legal interests of its parents are considered to be adverse or in conflict with each other, a guardian ad litem will be appointed for a child by the court. This independent adult will act on behalf of the child in the legal proceeding, and make certain that the interests and legal rights of the child are given adequate consideration and are adequately protected in the process. The legal protective status of a guardian ad litem will exist only within the confines of the particular court case in which the appointment was made.

People who supervise and provide care to young people in a group home or residence.

(short for Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) ICPC are laws which control the lawful movement of children from one state to another for the purposes of foster care placement and adoption.

ILP is a program designed to provide support and services to young people preparing to transition from foster care to life on their own. Services often include training for employment, education, housing, relationships, health and other daily living skills.

A Federal law that gives Native American Indian Nations and Tribes, including the Alaskan Aleuts, the right to control foster care and adoptions that involve their tribal members, the children of their tribal members and those individuals that could become tribal members.

A written plan for educational support services and their anticipated outcomes. An IEP is developed for students who are enrolled in special education programs or are behind in their education, as is often the case for young people in foster care.

ICPC are laws which control the lawful movement of children from one state to another for the purposes of foster care placement and adoption.

All of the legal rights, and corresponding legal obligations, that go along with being the parent of a child. These include: the right to legal and physical custody of the child, the right to physical access or visitation with the child, the right to inherit property from the child and to have the child inherit property from the parent,the right to consent to medical care and treatment for the child, the right to consent to the marriage of the child or its enlistment in military service, the ability to contract on behalf of the child, the obligation to provide financial support for the child, the responsibility to provide a legal defense of the child in legal proceedings, the obligation to care for, direct and supervise the child, the obligation to be legally liable for certain damages caused by the child, the obligation to see that the child attends school, and the obligation to protect the child and provide a safe living environment for the child.

The identity of the biological father of a child.

To have an enduring kin-like relationship that is safe and meant to last a lifetime.

An agreement between a young person and a supportive adult which defines the scope of a relationship which is intended to provide permanence and specific supports for the youth.

The caseworker coordinates services for the youth and family to fix the problems that led to the youth’s placement in state custody. The goal is to assure a long-term placement for the youth. This may be going home, staying in long-term foster care until age 18 or 21, or being placed for adoption.

Physical abuse is often the most easily spotted form of abuse. It may be any kind of hitting, shaking, burning, pinching, biting, choking, throwing, beating, and other actions that cause physical injury, leave marks, or produce significant physical pain.

This term is used to describe the point in time when a young person goes to live in a foster home, group home, or other temporary living arrangement.

An institution that houses children who are orphaned, abandoned, or whose parents are unable to care for them. Orphanages are rarely used in the United States, but are more frequently found in other countries.

A child who has no living parents, or whose parents have disappeared, abandoned, or are no longer able or willing to adequately support a child.

A disorder of the mind that causes unusual behavior.

Somebody, usually older and with more experience, who provides advice and support to a young person.

Unwanted sexual attention forced on a child or young person.

When parents or guardians don’t take care of the basic needs of the children who depend on them. Neglect occurs when a child or teen doesn’t have adequate food, housing, clothes, medical care, or supervision. Emotional neglect occurs when a parent doesn’t provide enough emotional support or deliberately and consistently pays very little or no attention to a child. Neglect is not when a parent doesn’t give a kid something he or she wants, like a new computer or a cell phone. Neglect is one form of abuse, but probably the hardest type of abuse to define.

This document contains details about when and where a foster care court hearing will take place and provides notice to people who may wish to appear or have something to say at court. This notice must be delivered to certain individuals such as attorneys, biological parents, foster parents and caregivers. In some cases, a foster child or youth may receive notice automatically or by special request from the judge or young person.

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. People with OCD become preoccupied with whether something could be harmful, dangerous, wrong, or dirty — or with thoughts about bad stuff that might happen. With OCD, upsetting or scary thoughts or images, called obsessions, pop into a person’s mind and are hard to shake.

A regular pattern of negative, defiant, disobedient, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that goes on for at least six months. May include frequent loss of temper, tendency to argue with adults, refusal to obey adult rules or requests, deliberate behaviors to annoy others, spiteful and vindictive behavior, use of obscene language, and other misbehaviors.