Terms, Organizations, & Statuses

General Terms

Foster Friendly Businesses

Recruitment Statuses



General Terms

Adoption Disruption

An adoption that is terminated prior to finalization, often after the child is placed in the adoptive home.

Aging Out of Foster Care

After the young person turns 18 years old and they leave the child welfare system.

Child Welfare

A continuum of services designed to protect children, strengthen families to care for their children, and promote permanency when children cannot remain with or return to their families. Services should be family-centered, strengths-based, and respectful of the family’s culture, values, beliefs, and needs.

Costs of Adoption

Adoption from foster care costs little to nothing – court filing fees, new birth certificate, background checks, etc (Some or all may even be reimbursed.) Domestic private adoptions and international adoptions can be very expensive and vary according to the adoption, country, agency.

CPAs/Private Providers

Child Placement Agencies: Bethany Christian, Lutheran Family – countless agencies – their roles vary between states and counties.

File Mining

Going through the case files looking for any connections for the child/youth for permanency/recruitment.

Foster Care Stipend

Monthly amount of financial reimbursement for the care of children in foster care.

Gotcha Day

Day child moves in.

Group Home

Any care facility that houses six or more children.

Home Study

The process of gathering information, preparing, and evaluating the fitness of prospective foster, kinship, and adoptive parents. The primary purpose of a home study is to ensure that each child is placed with a family that can best meet his/her needs. Home study requirements vary greatly from agency to agency, state to state, and (in the case of intercountry adoption) by the child’s country of origin.


Individualized Education Program: A federally mandated statement of goals written for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and implemented in a school-based setting. The IEP may be revised in a meeting in accordance with outlined regulations and may address the needs of youth with emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, or other health impairments.

Kids Night Out

2-4 hour block of time for respite where foster, kin, adoptive parents can drop off their kids for a fun time with background-checked volunteers.

“Levels” for Children

Children in foster care are assigned “levels” based on the amount of therapy required, amount of supervision, and the financial support foster parents receive for their care of the child in their home.


Memorandum of Understanding/Agreement – Document to define terms of IBP relationship with AKB and State Child Welfare, signed by AKB and State Department.

Placement to Finalization of Adoption

Child needs to be in your home 6 months before finalizing adoption. Child remains in foster care with supports, services, and caseworkers until the adoption is finalized.


Permanency Round tables.

Residential Treatment Facility

Facilities that provide 24-hour 7-day-a-week therapeutic care for children with emotional, psychological, and behavioral disorders.

Respite Care

Approved other caregivers to care for children in foster care when foster parents need a break.


Voluntary termination or release of all parental rights and duties that legally frees a child to be adopted. This is sometimes referred to as making an adoption plan for one’s child.


The process of returning children in temporary out-of-home care to their families of origin.

Special Needs

Children in foster care available for adoption or adopted from foster care who meet a State’s definition of “special needs.” There is no Federal definition of special needs, and the guidelines for classifying a child as special needs vary by State. The term is used in State law to indicate eligibility for Federal financial assistance, and most frequently refer to children who are school-aged; part of a sibling group; children of color; or those with specific physical, emotional, or developmental needs. The phrase “special needs” can apply to almost any child or youth adopted from foster care. The preferred term is “children with special needs.”

Termination of Parental Rights (TPR)

Voluntary or involuntary legal severance of the rights of a parent to the care, custody, and control of a child and to any benefits that, by law, would flow to the parent from the child, such as inheritance.


Wrapping around a foster family to encourage and help provide for needs like babysitting, meals, housekeeping, car repair, yard maintenance, etc.

Recruitment Statuses


Active recruitment is happening.


Matched with prospective adoptive family.


Placed with prospective adoptive family.


Adoption has been finalized.

On Hold

Sorting through home studies, matching meeting scheduled, sibling separation, the child is on the run, the child doesn’t want to participate in recruitment, etc *Try to get a reason for on hold and then follow up as appropriate.

Goal Changes

OPPLA/APPLA – Also known as another planned permanent living arrangement (APPLA), a term created by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 to replace the term “long-term foster care.” With OPPLA, the child welfare agency maintains care and custody of the youth and arranges a living situation in which the youth is expected to remain until adulthood. OPPLA or APPLA is a permanency option only when other options, such as reunification, relative placement, adoption, or legal guardianship, have been ruled out.

Aged Out

The child emancipates from the child welfare system after the age of 18



National photo listing site with lots of resources.


Christian Alliance for Orphans unites 190+ respected organizations and over 650 church members. Our joint initiatives inspire and equip Christians to live out effectively the Bible’s call to care for orphans and vulnerable children.

CarePortal GO Project

CarePortal is a technology platform that connects vulnerable children and families to people who have something to give. Social workers uncover the needs. CarePortal makes local churches aware, giving them a real-time opportunity to respond.


Court Appointed Special Advocate – A person, usually a volunteer appointed by the court, who serves to ensure that the needs and interests of a child in child protection judicial proceedings are fully protected.

Casey Family Programs

Casey Family Programs is a national operating foundation focused on foster care and child welfare.

Focus on the Family – Wait No More

Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care.

Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families.

Photo Gallery/Listing of available waiting children.

Safe Families

Safe Families for Children surrounds families in crisis with caring, compassionate community. We are a volunteer-driven nonprofit that provides hope and support to families in our local communities.


The Adoption Exchange – Helps match waiting children with prospective adoptive parents by maintaining a list of children waiting for adoption and adoptive parents who have been approved as potential placements for these children.

Wednesday’s Child Videos

Recruitment videos partnered with news stations, interviews completed by new reporters.

Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Specialists/Recruiters

Recruiters who implement an evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model funded by the Dave Thomas Foundation.