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Foster Care: Glossary

Glossary of Foster Parenting Terms

  • Emergency Foster Care (EFC):  means short-term substitute care for children in the custody of OKDHS from birth through five years of age.  Care is provided by a contracted agency to meet the child’s needs through service coordination and delivery in conjunction with OKDHS.
  • Foster Family Care:  means an essential temporary Child Welfare (CW) service for a child and parent(s), legal guardian, or custodian when the child’s safety cannot be ensured in his or her own home due to the risk of child abuse, neglect, or special circumstances necessitating out-of-home care on a temporary basis.  A service of continuous care is provided for a child requiring out-of-home placement in a home environment, including, but not limited to, the care, supervision, guidance, and rearing of a child by a foster parent, who is approved by and under contract with OKDHS.
  • House Assessment:  means the evaluation of the prospective foster or kinship family’s place of residence to determine whether the residence meets OKDHS physical requirements for safety.
  • In-Service Training:  means instruction on a yearly basis that is required to maintain continued approval of a foster home.
  • Inquiry:  means the first contact a prospective resource parent has with OKDHS.  The prospective resource parent may ask the local OKDHS office staff about foster parenting, through a phone call, e-mail, or personal contact.
  • Kinship Foster Family Care: means continuous care provided for a child requiring out-of-home placement by a relative, stepparent, or other responsible adult who has a bond or tie with the child or a family relationship role with the child’s parent(s) or the child prior to the child’s entry into foster care.
  • Mutual Decision-Making:  means the process by which the prospective resource family decides, given what they have learned about themselves and the children served by OKDHS, whether they want to become approved foster, kin, or adoptive parents.  OKDHS, represented by the resource specialist, determines whether the family has skills, willingness, and resources to foster or adopt an available child.
  • Parental substitute authority:  means the ability of the foster parent to integrate the child requiring out-of-home placement into the family setting and to care for the child as the foster parent would his or her child, by (A) meeting the child’s physical and emotional needs; (B) teaching the child problem-solving, self-control, and responsibility; and (C) building the foster parent-child relationship.  This does not include the authority to use corporal punishment on any child in OKDHS custody.
  • Pre-Service Training:  means instruction required of a foster parent applicant prior to approval.
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