People Involved with ONE CHILD in Foster Care
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate): A volunteer with this national program acts as an advocate and voice for abused and neglected children. For many children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence while in foster care. Learn more about CASAs here.
Case Aide: A human services employee assisting families to complete their individual service plan through supervising family visitations, transporting children and other tasks necessary in the process of reunification.
County Attorney: Acts as legal representation for the Department of Human Services to ensure the county and agency are acting within their legal mandate to protect children from harm and make reasonable efforts to reunite families.
Dad: Allegations of maltreatment that have been investigated and his child has been placed in foster care. Services will be put in place to help him regain custody of his child.
Family & Child Caseworker: An employee of the Department of Human Services responsible for establishing a relationship with the biological family to develop a treatment plan addressing their needs to ultimately achieve family reunification. This worker appears in court, meets with the family and the child on a monthly basis and ensures that all of the child’s Court Ordered needs are met.
Foster Child: A person under 18 years-old who has been found to be abused or neglected and is now in the legal custody of a county department of human services agency.
Foster Mom/Dad: The word foster means to temporarily help someone grow and develop. In the U.S., foster parents temporarily provide the day-to-day care that helps a child in foster care grow and develop until a permanent plan for the child is identified.
Foster Parent Home Supervisor: An agency employee who ensures a foster home is in compliance with state mandated policies for certification and offers support and guidance for families.
Guardian ad Litem: An attorney appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child in court.
IEP Team Members: An IEP is an Individualized Education Program. An IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel and students (when appropriate) to work together and improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP guides the delivery of special education supports and services for the student with a disability.
Intake Caseworker: An employee of the Department of Human Services responsible for investigating allegations made about the welfare of a child. During the investigation, the Intake Caseworker considers whether the alleged abuse or neglect occurred and assesses the child’s safety, well-being and permanence when making decisions about recommending the placement of a child in out of home care.
Judge: Ultimately responsible for making all immediate and permanent custody decisions for children in foster care and under the jurisdiction of the Court.
Kin: Relatives or persons described by the family as having family-like relationships. These relationships take into account cultural values and continuity of significant relationships. A child may be placed in a “kinship” home.
Mom: Allegations of maltreatment have been investigated and her child has been placed in foster care. Services will be put into place to help her regain custody of her child.
Noncustodial parent: A parent who does not have legal custody of a child but who is the child’s biological or legal parent.
Parent Attorney: An attorney representing one or both of the parents to ensure their legal rights are upheld.
Spousal equivalent: A person who is in a family-type living arrangement with a parent and who, if married, would be a step-parent.
Support Group: A group of foster and adoptive parents meeting regularly in community to share experience and gain support.
Support Team: A group of friends and/or family members committed to to supporting a family during their foster or adoptive journey.
Therapist: A credentialed person who provides occupational, speech, physical or mental health services to the child and/or the child’s parents.