Section 7, Chapter 1 (Glossary)

(Effective 2-10-20)

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z



A parent or custodian’s act of leaving a child without adequate care, supervision, support, or parental contact for an excessive period of time; an expressed or implied intention to sever the parent-child relationship and avoid the obligations arising from the relationship.


Any physical injury, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse inflicted on a child other than by accidental means by those responsible for his care, custody, and control, except that discipline including spanking, administered in a reasonable manner, shall not be construed to be abuse.


A court hearing in which the evidence is presented in support of the petition alleging the child is homeless, abused, neglected or dependent.  The parents have an opportunity to respond and a judgment is made regarding the petition. Also known as an adjudication hearing or jurisdictional hearing.


Evidence which can legally and properly be used in court.


Any adopted person who is 21 years of age or over. (Section 453.120, RSMo.)


Any adopted person who is less than 21 years of age. (Section 453.120, RSMo.)


A financial grant made to a family adopting a child with special needs to assist in meeting the cost of care, treatment and/or the legal process of adoption.


A person 18 years of age or older.


One who has reached the legal age of majority and is attached to another by affection or esteem and is not hostile to that person.


Any brother or sister of whole or half blood who is 18 years of age or over. (Section 453.120, RSMo.)


A written statement of facts signed under penalty of perjury, often before a court clerk or notary public who administers the oath to the signing party, who is the affiant or declarant.


Aftercare is defined as support services through the Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood Program for youth who exited foster care after age 18 but have not yet reached age 21.


Highest ranking Children’s Division staff member in respective office.  This person shall present and support the agency’s evidence in the state hearing, and has opportunity to cross-examine applicant/resource and/or witnesses during the state hearing.


In an Alford Plea, the criminal defendant does not admit the act, but admits that the prosecution could likely prove the charge.  If the court accepts the plea the court will pronounce the defendant guilty.  If the Court accepts the plea, an Alford plea therefore has the same result as a guilty plea.


Any unmarried person under age 18 who is either a member of an Indian tribe, or is eligible for membership in an Indian tribe and is the biological child of a member of an Indian tribe.


The consideration of all social, psychological, medical and other factors to determine diagnostic data to be used as a basis for the treatment plan.


A substantial risk of harm to a child’s health or welfare, or reasonable cause to suspect a child may be subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect.




The psychological attachment of parent to child which develops during and immediately following childbirth.  Bonding, which appears to be crucial to the development of a healthy parent/child relationship, may be studied during and immediately following delivery to help identify potential families at risk.  Bonding is normally a natural occurrence, but it may be disrupted by separation of mother and baby or by other situational or psychological factors.


The duty to establish a claim or allegation by admissible and credible evidence at the time of hearing.




A legal writ or process commanding an officer to arrest the person named in it.


Those responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child includes, but is not limited to the parents or guardian of a child, other members of the child’s household, or those exercising supervision over a child for any part of a twenty-four hour day.  Those responsible for the care, custody, and control shall also include any person who has access to the child based on relationship to the parents of the child or members of the child’s household or the family; or any person who takes control of the child by deception, force, or coercion.


Caregiver’s Protective Capacities refer to knowledge, ability and/or willingness of individuals in the household responsible for the child’s care, to protect a child from the threat of serious harm.


The Children’s Service Worker responsible for coordinating all services delivered to a child and his/her family.


A written document which describes the social and child welfare services and activities to be provided by the Division and other state and local agencies for the purpose of achieving a permanent familial relationship for the child.  Also, see Children’s Services Forms Manual, instructions for form CS-1 and 13 CSR 40 – 30.010 found in the Reference Book, Missouri Laws Relating to the Children’s Division (CD).


The Central Registry is contained within the Division’s Information System.  It contains only those persons where the Division’s finding is “preponderance of evidence”, “probable cause” or “court adjudicated.”   The Central Registry will eventually include the names of individuals who have pled guilty or been found guilty of crimes found in Chapters 565, 566, 567, 568, and 573, RSMo.


A federal program created in 1999 with the passage of the Foster Care Independence Act.  This program provides services to both youth in foster care who are preparing to transition to adulthood and youth 18-23 who have already left foster care and need assistance.


In compliance with federal law, youth ages 14-21 must have the Adolescent Family Support Team Guide and Individualized Action Plan (Transition Plan) attached to the CS-1, Children’s Services Case Plan.  The Adolescent FST Guide (CD94) and Individualized Action Plan Goals (CD94) are to be completed within 120 days of a youth coming into care after the age of 14 or turning 14. The case manager shares the youth’s transition plan with the juvenile court for the dispositional hearing in order that the court may address the services that a youth needs to transition from out-of-home care to independent living.  The Individualized Action Plan goals and expectations provide the framework for life skills instruction.


A person under 18 years of age subject to parental control, guardian control or legal custody.  Also includes children declared homeless, dependent, neglected or who have committed a status offense and who are committed to the Division for care, custody, and control or who have been placed under the supervision of the Division by a juvenile court.


Care of a child away from his/her own parent for any part of 24-hour day, for compensation or otherwise.  Child care provided by a family or center is a voluntary supplement to parental responsibility for the child’s protection, development, and supervision.


A facility other than the provider’s permanent residence, or separate from the provider’s living quarters, where care is provided for children for any part of the 24 hour day.


A child care home or a child care center, whether known or incorporated under another title or name.


A family home, occupied as a permanent residency by the child care provider, in which family-like care is given to more than ten (10) children, not related to the child care provider, for any part of the 24-hour day.


As defined in 210.109.2, RSMo., the child protection system shall seek to promote the safety of children and the integrity and preservation of their families by conducting investigations or family assessments in response to reports of child abuse or neglect.  The system shall endeavor to coordinate community resources and provide assistance or services to children and families identified to be at risk, and to prevent and remedy child abuse and neglect.


The worker assigned to provide direct services to parents/child(ren).


Services purchased by the Division from contracted providers.


A child’s capacity for self-protection.  Vulnerability also involves the susceptibility to suffer more severe consequences based on health, size, mobility, social/emotional state, and/or access to individuals who can provide protection.


To force an individual to act or think in a given manner.


Anyone with personal knowledge of a family or child.


An order by a court of appropriate jurisdiction ordering the care, custody, and treatment of a juvenile.


A witness’ ability to observe, recall and recount under oath what happened.


A process of working towards reunification while at the same time, establishing and implementing an alternative (contingency back-up) permanency plan for a child.  Concurrent rather than sequential planning efforts are utilized to more quickly move a child from the uncertainty of foster care to the security of a safe and stable permanent family (National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning).


A person or corporation appointed by the probate court to have care and custody of the estate of a minor or disabled person until such appointment is terminated by the court. (Section 475.010, RSMo.)


Infliction of pain by an adult upon the body of a child as penalty for doing something which has been disapproved of by the punisher.


Representation by a person who is proper or sufficient to be recognized by law.


When a court of competent jurisdiction (i.e., circuit, criminal or juvenile divisions) sustains in writing the Division’s determination of “preponderance of evidence”, “Probable Cause” or, in family assessments, “Services Needed” for a specific CA/N incident.  The “Court Adjudication” finding shall be used when the conclusion of the family assessment or investigation matches the findings in the court hearing.


A community volunteer trained and supervised by a local CASA program and appointed by court order to serve the best interest of a child under that circuit court’s jurisdiction.  As an officer of the court, the CASA may serve as a Guardian ad Litem or Friend of the Court, depending upon the program model adopted by the judicial circuit.


The authority of the juvenile Division of the circuit court to act.  A child is subject to determination of delinquency, dependency, neglect, abuse, termination of parental rights and adoption.  For domestic relations cases (divorce/custody suits) the jurisdiction is under the circuit court.


A person “acts with criminal negligence” or is criminally negligent when he fails to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or a result will follow, and such failure constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.


Services given to a family which ameliorates a presenting family crisis problem.


Punishment that is bizarre by any community standards such as locking a child in a closet for prolonged periods of time, tying a child to a bed, or severe, brutal, sadistic forms of physical abuse and/or emotional maltreatment.


Legal parent with actual physical care of the child.


Parent, step-parent, adult spouse of a juvenile, guardian, Guardian ad Litem, or a person having legal or actual custody of a juvenile or standing in loco parentis to the juvenile.


Missouri statutes refer to several different types of custody.  The following definitions are taken from the statutes or interpreted for Division purposes.  Legal Custody:  “….the right to the care, custody and control of a child and the duty to provide food, clothing, shelter, ordinary medical care, education, treatment and discipline of a child. (211.021, RSMo.)


The ability of a juvenile officer or law enforcement officer, pursuant to the juvenile code, to take temporary custody of a child who is in immediate danger and place him/her in the control of child protective services for no longer than 24 hours. (210.125, RSMo.)


The right to the care, custody, and control of a juvenile, and the duty to provide food, clothing, shelter, ordinary medical care, education, treatment and discipline to a juvenile.


Those persons or agencies designated to provide 24-hour care for a child on a continuous basis.  Generally, it is used to differentiate the person or agency caring for the child from that person or agency having “legal custody” of the child.


Emergency measure taken to detain a child for 24 hours, often in a hospital or foster home, until a written detention request can be filed.  Police, law enforcement officers, or doctors have statutory authority (210.125, RSMo.) to detain minors who are in imminent danger.




A decision or sentence given in a cause by the court.


A defending party, the person sued or accused, opposite to the plaintiff.


When it is not possible to complete an investigation or assessment within 30 days, for reasons other than worker delay, this code may be used.  There are five reasons identified which would justify the use of this code:

  1. The worker is waiting for a critical psychological/medical report.
  2. The juvenile court is conducting the investigation and has not completed same.
  3. A co-investigation with law enforcement is being conducted and is not completed.
  4. The family refused to cooperate, and was referred to the juvenile court.
  5. The worker has made a request for assistance from another county or state and critical information has not been received.


Behavior by a juvenile that is anti-social or in violation of the law.


A juvenile who has been classified as such through court proceedings.


A situation where a child is dependent upon another for financial support.


Written testimony of a witness taken by competent authorities before the trial, which may be used at the trial.


Any staff member appointed by the Division director to carry out the director’s responsibilities.  Also, an action which can be done at the local level by the county director.


A writ or instrument issued or made by a competent officer of the court, authorizing the proper agency to keep in its custody a person therein named.


A place of temporary care for juveniles in judicial custody pending court disposition and includes facilities which are physically confining and those which provide care for juveniles.


A court hearing held to determine whether a child should be kept away from his/her parents until a full trial (adjudication) of neglect or abuse allegations can take place.  This hearing is usually held within 72 hours after the filing of a petition to remove the child(ren) from the parents. (Missouri Supreme Court Rules 111.07 and 111.08).


Includes efforts to locate or identify the natural parents or relatives of a child, initiated as soon as the division is made aware of the existence of the parent or relative, with progress reports at each court hearing until the parent or relative is identified and located or the court excuses further search.


Services given to a family by the Children’s Service Worker.  Services which are not purchased.


Relates to discipline techniques which resulted in injury or could place the child at risk of physical injury (unreasonable spanking, biting, kicking, slapping, excessive exercise, and denial of basic needs, as a means of discipline).


A report of the final determination and decision of the court regarding a legal case.


Court hearing to hear evidence on the question of what plan would be in the best interest of the child.  (Child has already been found to be within the jurisdiction of the court through adjudication.)


This court hearing should be held within 90 days of the Dispositional Hearing and may be held as often as needed to determine the appropriate permanency plan for the child.


Procedures for handling related minor problems informally, without referral to the juvenile court.


A pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as stalking and economic coercion, that any person uses against a family or household member including, spouses, former spouses, any person related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past, any person who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, and anyone who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time.  (Section 455.010 RSMo.)


The constitutionally guaranteed right of persons to be treated by the law with fundamental fairness.  In juvenile delinquency proceedings, these include the right to adequate notice in advance of the hearing, the right to counsel, the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, the right to refuse to give self-incriminating testimony, and the right to have allegations of the conduct that would be criminal if committed by an adult proven beyond a reasonable doubt.


The duty of agency staff to inform an identified individual or ascertainable group there is a foreseeable danger or threat of harm exists and failure to act could result in injury.




Family charting diagram which uses circles and lines to depict the family’s ecological systems.


Educational neglect is the failure by the person responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child to provide an appropriate education and to promote school attendance as required by Missouri Law.  Section 167.031 RSMo., requires all children ages 7 up to 17 to attend school, except that any child who has successfully completed 16 credits toward high school graduation is not required to attend and therefore does not meet the criteria for educational neglect. Children ages 5 and 6 are required to attend school, when they have been enrolled in a public school by their parent or guardian.


The Children’s Services professional responsible for Title IV-E and Title XIX eligibility determinations and the completion and coordination of SSI applications and appeals.


A program under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act which is designed to assist families through a family crisis.  The crisis may be the result of a CA/N report, a child needing, or at risk of needing, out-of-home care, or a family emergency which places a child at risk of CA/N.  The Emergency Assistance Services (EAS) program includes investigatory, eligibility determination and purchased services activities delivered in a 365-day time period once within a 12-month time period.


Children’s Division licensed specifically-for-emergency-foster-care homes who are available 24-hours/day to receive children placed in the custody of the Division; or other licensed/approved private or juvenile court homes/facilities who have approved contracts/agreements with Children’s Division.  These homes are only used for children on a short-term basis of no more than 30 days.  When a child is placed, a per diem is paid.


Any injury to a child’s psychological capacity or emotional stability demonstrated by an observable or substantial change or impairment in the child’s behavior, emotional response, or cognition, which may include but is not limited to: anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior; and which may be established by either lay or expert witnesses.


The destruction of identifying information.




An in-person interaction between individuals that allows the individuals to communicate and/or observe one another.


FCS is the family-focused intervention method utilized by the Division in working with families.  A Children’s Service Worker meets with the family, in their home, to assist them in identifying their strengths and service needs.  The worker and the family then work to develop a family plan for change.


A plan of action which is family-specific and based on family diagnosis and risk assessment.


A form of substitute care, usually in a home licensed by a public agency, for children whose welfare requires that they be removed from their own homes.


The adult member(s) of any family licensed to provide foster family care to children unrelated by blood, marriage, or adoption.  General Counsel Division has stated that foster parents are not volunteers, nor employees, not agents of Children’s Division, but most closely approximate independent contractors.




Family tree diagram, used in family assessment.  This family assessment tool is helpful to identify significant family members that may be of support and family patterns such as alcoholism, domestic violence, mental illness, physical illnesses, etc.


A mechanism to administratively review any concern a client or resource provider may have about an aspect of the management of a particular case.


A guardian is an individual appointed by a probate court to have care and custody of the person of a child under the age of 18, or an incapacitated person.  The guardian may grant physical custody of the child to someone else, but retains rights of legal custody over the child, (section 475.010, RSMo.).  The guardian retains responsibility for making decisions related to medical and surgical services, consent to marriage, consent to military service, consent to adoption, legal notice and representation, visitation of the child, inheritance and child property management, religious affiliation, and access to CA/N reports.

Guardian AD Litem:

An adult individual appointed by the court to protect the best interest of a child under the age of 17 (Chapter 211 RSMo) or 18 (Chapter 475 RSMo 1982 Supp) in a specific legal action.




A writ directed to the person detaining another, commanding him to produce the body of the prisoner, and to obey whatsoever the judge or court awarding the writ shall direct.


A report filed by any permissive or mandated reporter which is known to contain false information for the purpose of annoying or harassing the caretaker of the child, and a report in which none of the allegations made by the reporter are substantiated or determined Probable Cause.


A person less than twenty-one years of age who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, including a child or youth who (1) is sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; is living in motels, hotels, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; is living in emergency or transitional shelters; is abandoned in hospitals; or is awaiting foster care placement; (2) has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; (3) is living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and (4) is a migratory child or youth who qualifies as homeless because the child or youth is living in circumstances described in subsection (1) to (3).


A description of the status of child, utilized by the courts and the Division, relating to a parent’s failure to perform those duties charged by law including the duty to provide proper support, education, medical attention, necessary care and protection.

A match of state funds and federal funds authorized by the Social Security Act, Title IV-B for the payment of the following:  (1) maintenance for all HDN eligible children placed in out-of-home care; (2) non-Title XIX covered medical expenses for children in out-of-home care; (3) initial clothing expenses; and (4) special non-medical related expenses for both IV-E – Alternative Care and HDN status children in out-of-home care.  This fund account also provides full payment for maintenance for HDN children in residential treatment facilities.  Children in relative care placement are not eligible for HDN payments unless approved prior to 1-21-82.  It is also used to meet adoption assistance costs for those children not eligible for IV-E – Adoption Subsidy. Identifying information (applies only in requests to release identifying information in adoption records):  name, date of birth, place of birth, and last known address of the biological parents/siblings.




Report received that does not contain allegations of abuse and/or neglect that are governed by section 210, RSMo.


An Independent Living Arrangement (ILA) is a state-approved and subsidized placement option for youth age 18 and older who cannot return home. The case manager in conjunction with the Family Support Team (FST) determines the youth’s suitability for placement in an Independent Living Arrangement, by assessing the youth’s motivation, abilities, skills and capabilities for living independently and ultimate transition from the service delivery system. Youth in an ILA have a goal of APPLA and must be referred and receiving Chafee Program Services prior to the placement being made.


A federal law intended to protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families.  ICWA sets federal requirements that apply to state child custody proceedings involving an Indian child who is a member of or eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe.


“In the place of the parent,” refers to actions of a custodian, guardian, or other person acting in the parent’s place instead.


A legally binding agreement or contract between individual states which sets out requirements governing the sending and receiving of children across state lines to assure their protection.  The statute in Missouri governing the interstate movement of children with the purpose of assuring the most appropriate placement for the child, the sharing of full information about the child and his family and the placement resource, and promoting appropriate jurisdictional arrangement for the care of child. (Section 210.620, RSMo.)


The authority retained by the sending public or private agency, court, person, institution, association or other entity over the child to determine all matters in relation to the custody, supervision, care, treatment, and disposition of the child which it would have had if the child had remained in the sending state.


The collection of physical and verbal evidence to determine if a child has been abused or neglected.




The authority of a particular court to hear cases involving certain categories of persons or allegations.  Jurisdiction can also refer to the geographical area subject to a particular law or court.


The juvenile division or divisions of the circuit court of the county, or judges while hearing juvenile cases assigned to them.


Includes Deputy Juvenile Officer and other court personnel the court has authorized to exercise the powers of the Juvenile Officer.




A person who is non-related by blood, marriage or adoption who has a close relationship with the child or child’s family (godparents, neighbors, teachers, close family friends, and fellow church members) or a person who has a close relationship with the child or child’s family and is related to the child by blood or affinity beyond the third degree.  This designation applies to homes who apply to care for children for whom the agency has legal custody.




Leaving a child unattended which could result in deprivation of physical and/or emotional needs, exploitation by older children and/or adults, serious injury, other types of CA/N and/or death.


A child in Children’s Division (CD) custody who is not legally free for adoption, and who has the goal of adoption.  The family accepting the child for placement understands that the goal of adoption may not be reached and/or the child may be returned to the home of the parent(s).


Legal obligation to make good any loss or damage that occurs; responsibility.


The legal document issued by the Division for up to a maximum of two (2) years which authorizes an individual or couple to provide 24-hour foster family care.  It also indicates the family has met the foster family home licensing rules authorized through section 210.481 to 210.536, RSMo.


Specific administrative requirements promulgated under the licensing statute (section 210.506, RSMo).  They provide workers with an authoritative, legally based criteria with which to determine if a specific home should be licensed to care for foster children.


A violation of the licensing rules promulgated by Children’s Division for the specific type of care being provided, which may include CA/N.


“Lineal descendants” include adopted children and their descendants. (Section 472.010 RSMo.)


When the “subject” family is located outside Missouri and a referral of information regarding the allegation(s) has been completed.




Any person who is required by law (Section 210.115. 1 RSMo.) to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the Children’s Division.  Mandated reporters include:  “any physician, medical examiner, coroner, dentist, chiropractor, optometrist, podiatrist, resident, intern, nurse, hospital or clinic personnel that are engaged in the examination, care, treatment or research of persons, and any other health practitioner, psychologist, mental health professional, social worker, day care center worker or other child-care worker, juvenile officer, probation or parole officer, jail or detention center personnel, teacher, principal or other school official, minister as provided by section 352.400, peace officer or law enforcement official, or other person with responsibility for the care of children…”


The denial or deprivation by those responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child, of medical or surgical treatment or intervention which is necessary to remedy or ameliorate a medical condition which is life threatening or causes injury.  Medical neglect includes not only serious, but mild and moderate medical neglect as well.


A medical professional’s failure to exercise reasonable medical judgment.


A crime is a misdemeanor if it is so designated or if persons convicted thereof may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of which the maximum is one year or less.


Any person who is under the age of 17 years, whose temporary or permanent residence is in the state of Missouri or who is believed to be within the state of Missouri, whose location has not been determined, and who has been reported as missing to a law enforcement agency.


A report prepared on a standard form supplied by the Missouri State Highway Patrol for the use by private citizens and law enforcement agencies to report missing children or missing juvenile information to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.


A person who is missing and meets one of the following characteristics:

  1. Is physically or mentally disabled to the degree that the person is dependent upon an agency or another individual;
  2. Was or is in the company of another person under circumstances indicating that the missing person’s safety may be in danger;
  3. Is missing under circumstances indicating that the disappearance was not voluntary;
  4. Is a child or juvenile runaway from the residence of a parent or legal guardian.


The Missouri Adoption Information Registry, operated by the Children’s Division, is a service by which adopted adults and biological parents or adult siblings may indicate their desire to be contacted by each other.  The Registry can accept applications from adopted adults who were adopted in Missouri or whose biological parents or had their parental rights terminated in Missouri.  The Registry also processes application from those biological parents who relinquish a child for adoption in Missouri as well as adult siblings wishing to have contact with the adopted adult.


An application to a court for a ruling, order, etc.




An act that, as certified by a physician, places the child in serious or critical condition.”  For example, if hospital records reflect that the child’s condition is “serious” or “critical,” this would be considered a “near-fatality”.  (See (Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) – sections 106(b)(2)(B)(x) and (b)(4(A))


Failure to provide by those responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child, the proper or necessary support, education as required by law, or medical, surgical, or other care necessary for his well-being.


In these cases, a home assessment is requested by a physician or other medical personnel when they have serious reservations about releasing an infant from the hospital who may be sent home to a potentially dangerous situation.  Many times a drug-involved mother may continue using drugs, so an assessment of the home situation is needed prior to, or at the time the infant is released from the hospital.  There may also be other non-drug related situations in which a physician/health care provider is concerned about releasing a newborn infant from the hospital.  Non-drug involved referrals will be accepted until the child is one year of age.


Referrals made to Hotline Unit and referred to county staff, for referral to law enforcement or the juvenile office, which report abuse or neglect by those who do not have care, custody, and control.


Legal parent of a child, but who does not have day-to-day care of the child.


Physical description, nationality, religious background and medical history of the biological parents or siblings.


The National Youth in Transition Database is a data collection and reporting system in the form of a survey conducted as youth turn 17, 19, and 21, regardless of custody status.  States conduct a survey of youth in foster care at age 17 and conduct a follow-up survey at ages 19 and 21 to report information about youth outcomes in order to improve services for youth in care.  Services that youth are receiving through the state’s independent living program are also reported every six months on all youth receiving independent living services.




Services provided to all youth age fourteen (14) through twenty-three (23) in custody or previously in custody.  The Older Youth Program encompasses philosophy through positive youth development and the distinct permanency needs of adolescents.  Assessment tools are used to develop individual case plans for youth to help assist with the successful transition from adolescence to adulthood.  Services include life skills teaching, housing options, educational assistance, and aftercare.


Regionally-based Children’s Service Specialist position responsible for monitoring and providing support to the Transitional Living Services, Chafee Foster Care Independence Program Services, and Educational Training Voucher Contract.


A unit composed of Children’s Division investigators who complete CA/N investigations for certain out-of-home investigations, i.e., foster homes, licensed and registered child care homes and centers, residential facilities, and private and public school employees.




A Latin phrase used to describe the power of the state to act in place of the parents for the purpose of protecting the property and person of a child.


Either biological or adoptive parent of the child regardless of who has primary responsibility for the child.


Any individual who brings a legal action, is a named defendant, or is denominated in statute as a party in a court proceeding.


This is a judicial review held annually conducted to objectively determine the continuing appropriateness of a child’s placement, a child’s progress while in care toward the short and long range goals, and a child’s need for continued care


An administrative process conducted for the purpose of objectively determining the continuing appropriateness of a child’s placement, a child’s progress in care toward the short and long-range goals, and the need for continued care.  Reviews are typically held in conjunction with six-month court hearings.


This hearing may be held as often as is necessary, but must be held at least every 6 months following the permanency hearing.  The purpose of this hearing is to determine if the permanency plan in place is the most appropriate option for the child and whether the Children’s Division has made reasonable efforts to finalize the plan.


A written request or plea in which a specific court action is requested.


Barriers exist which have or could result in the lack of basic material needs for the child to be safe (safe and sanitary housing, clothing, utilities, food and other physical or safety needs).


Any bruising, lacerations, hematomas, welts, permanent or temporary disfigurement; loss, or impairment of any bodily function or organ, which may be accompanied by physical pain, illness, or impairment of the child’s physical condition

PLACEMENT (intra or interstate):

The arrangement for the care of a child with a foster family, relative family, adoptive family or in a child-caring agency or institution.


A person who brings suit into a court of law; a complainant or victim.


Any one of the formal written statements of accusation or defense in an action at law.


That degree of evidence that is of greater weight or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it or evidence which as a whole shows the fact to be proved to be more probable than not.  Standard of proof used by the Division to determine the existence of abuse or neglect in an investigation initiated by a CA/N report received on or after August 28, 2004.


Preventive Service Referrals (P-Referrals) result when a concern is reported to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline Unit (CANHU), which does not involve allegations of child abuse or neglect, but does present a concern about a child who is in the custody of the Children’s Division (CD), a child who is receiving services from CD, or a child who may need placement (or an intervention to resolve the need for placement).


Lit., “On the first appearance,” evidence which on its face makes out the necessary elements of the allegation, and which will suffice to establish the allegation as true until it is contradicted and overcome by other evidence.


An individual/professional’s obligation to refuse to disclose information shared during the course of business by another individual or agency without that other individual’s consent.  It is usually exercised when a court has subpoenaed a member of a profession to provide testimony regarding his relationship to a defendant or plaintiff.  Currently, privileged communication is applied only in the following relationships:  spousal communication; priest and penitent; lawyer and client; and doctor and patient.  In the instance of a child abuse or neglect proceeding, the only applicable privileged communication is that relationship between the client and their attorney.


Available facts when viewed in the light of surrounding circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe a child was abused or neglected.  Standard of proof used by the Division to determine the existence of abuse or neglect in an investigation prior to August 28, 2004.


In adult or juvenile court, a disposition which allows the defendant or the minor to remain at liberty under the supervision of a probation officer, frequently with a suspended commitment or sentence of imprisonment and usually requiring compliance with certain stated conditions.


Adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or other care and control necessary to provide for the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health or development.


In child abuse and neglect cases, the emergency removal of a child from his home when the child would be in imminent danger if allowed to remain with the parent(s) or custodian(s).


A specialized child welfare service provided to a family that carries a delegated responsibility to offer and provide help and treatment in behalf of any child considered or found to be neglected, abused, or exploited.


The entire constellation of persons who are receiving protective services which may include out-of-home care services. The case name will be the parent/caretaker designated as the head of the protective service case.


A group home facility, residential facility, juvenile court, school, or child placing agency.




The ordinary diligence and care by the Division to identify child protection problems and provide services to solve those problems so as to prevent out-of-home placements and/or promote family reunification.


Applying to adoption cases, attempting to locate biological parents for release of information in adoption records: Use of resources listed in Section 4, Attachment A, to the extent that the worker believes that the biological parent(s) cannot be located.


 A medical judgment that would be made by a reasonably prudent physician, knowledgeable about the case and the treatment possibilities with respect to the medical conditions involved.


The state or agency to which a child is sent or brought by the sending state/agency.  It does not matter if the child is sent by public authorities, private persons or public or private agencies.  Placement can be with state or local public authorities or with private agencies or persons.


A person “acts recklessly” or is reckless when he consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or that a result will follow, and such disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation.


A person related to another by blood or affinity within the third degree (grandparent, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepparent, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, aunt, or first cousin.) RSMo 210.565.2. This designation applies to homes who apply to care for children for whom the agency has legal custody.


Evidence that is logically connected to, and helps to prove, a material point or issue in a case.


Any child who does not receive specified medical treatment by reason of the legitimate practice of the religious belief of the child’s parent, guardian, or others legally responsible for the child, for that reason only, shall not be found to be an abused or neglected child.  The Division will accept reports concerning such a child and will investigate as a result of the report.  Such an exception shall not limit the administrative or judicial authority of the state to ensure that medical services are provided to the child when the child’s health requires it.


Lit., “to send back,” frequently used to describe the order transferring a minor to adult court’s order sending a minor to the juvenile court.


Report is defined in statute as the communication of an allegation of CA/N to the Division. 


State laws requiring certain designated persons (physicians, nurses, teachers and like) to report to proper authorities suspected cases of child abuse and injuries inflicted by unlawful means.


A place at which a home or regular place of abode is maintained.  A juvenile’s residence is that of the parent, guardian or legal custodian.


An adult individual who has been approved by the Children’s Division to provide care for youth who have been placed in legal custody the Children’s Division.  This includes Foster, Adoptive, Relative or Kinship (licensed or unlicensed), Respite, and Transitional Living Advocates.


Risk is the likelihood or probability that child maltreatment will occur or reoccur in the future.


A child under the jurisdictional age limit established by the state, who has run away from his home without consent of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian.




A child can be considered safe when there are no threats of danger to a child within the family/home or when the caregiver’s protective capacities within the home can manage or control the threats of danger.


Safety intervention refers to all the actions and decisions required throughout the life of a case to assure that an unsafe child is protected, expend sufficient efforts necessary to support and facilitate a child’s caregivers taking responsibility for the child’s protection, and achieve the establishment of a safe, permanent home for the unsafe child.  Safety intervention consists of identifying and assessing threats to child safety, planning and establishing safety plans that assure child safety, managing safety plans that assure child safety and creating and implementing remedial case plans that enhance the capacity of caregivers to provide protection for their children.


A written, mutually agreed upon, arrangement between the worker and the family that establishes how threats of danger to child safety will be managed.


Casting blame or failure on an innocent persons, i.e., a child abused as punishment for problems unrelated to him.


In a juvenile court practice, the closure of juvenile records to all inspection except by the minor upon petition to the court.


One of the following who sends, brings, or causes to be sent or brought a child to another ICPC member state.

  1. A Compact member state, officer or employee thereof;
  2. A subdivision of a member state officer or employee thereof;
  3. A court of a member state; or
  4. A person, corporation, association, charitable agency institution or other entity.  


Physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.


The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.

SEXUAL ABUSE: Any sexual or sexualized interaction with a child, except as otherwise provided in paragraph 2 below.

1. Sexual abuse shall include, but is not limited to:

a. Any touching of the genitals, anus or buttocks of a child, or the breast of a female child, or any such touching through the clothing; any act involving the genitals of a child and the hand, mouth, tongue, or anus of another person; or any sexual act involving the penetration, however slight, of a child’s mouth, penis, female genitalia, or anus by any body part of another person, or by any instrument or object;

b. Any conduct that would constitute a violation, regardless of arrest or conviction, of chapter 566 RSMo if the victim is less than eighteen years of age, section 567.050, RSMo if the victim is less than eighteen years of age, sections 568.020, 568.060, 568.080, or 568.090, RSMo, sections 573.025, 573.035, 573.037, or 573.040, RSMo or an attempt to commit any of the preceding crimes;

c. Sexual exploitation of the child, which shall include:

i. Allowing, permitting or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution, as defined by state law; or,

ii. Allowing, permitting, encouraging or engaging in the obscene or pornographic photographing, filming or depicting of a child as those acts are defined by state law.  This includes the storage or transmission of any data depicting said obscene or pornographic acts, images, or recordings.

2. Any reasonable interaction with a child, including touching a child’s body for the purpose of providing the proper or necessary care or support of the child, shall not be considered sexual abuse.  The touching of a child’s body, including a child’s genitals, buttocks, anus, or breasts for reasonable, medical, child rearing or child care purposes shall not be considered sexual abuse.

3. The division shall not be required to prove that the alleged perpetrator received sexual gratification or that there was an exchange or promise of anything of value as a result of the act of sexual abuse to establish sexual abuse under chapter 210 or 211 RSMo.

4. The use of force or coercion is not a necessary element for a finding of sexual abuse.

5. Sexual abuse may occur over or under the child’s clothes.

6. The division shall not be required to prove that the child suffered trauma or harm as a result of the act of sexual abuse.

7. A child cannot consent to a sexual or sexualized act or interaction with a person responsible for that child’s care, custody, and control.


The sexual use of a child under the age of 18 by those responsible for his/her care, custody, and control for the purpose of pornography and/or prostitution.


A person commits the crime of sexual misconduct involving a child if such person:

  1. Knowingly exposes his or her genitals to a child less than fifteen years of age under circumstances in which he or she knows that his or her conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to the child;
  2. Knowingly exposes his or her genitals to a child less than fifteen years of age for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, including the child;
  3. Knowingly coerces or induces a child less than fifteen years of age to expose the child’s genitals for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, including the child; or
  4. Knowingly coerces or induces a child who is known by such person to be less than fifteen years of age to expose the breasts of a female child through the Internet or other electronic means for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, including the child. (Section 566.083)


Children who share at least one biological or adoptive parent.


The report prepared by a probation officer or Children’s Service Worker for the judge’s consideration at a dispositional hearing.  Such reports review the minor’s behavior and family history and frequently contain material that would be inadmissible in most judicial proceedings because of hearsay, lack of verification, etc.  In many states, specific statutes permit their admission into evidence.  Social studies may not be received by the court until after the petition has been adjudicated and jurisdiction established.


Children in custody of the Division legally free or potentially legally free for adoption who meet any of the following criteria:

  1. Children over ten years old.
  2. Children of minority or ethnic groups of all ages.
  3. Children who are intellectually, emotionally, or physically handicapped.
  4. Children who appear to be normal, but whose prognosis is guarded due to incest, mental illness, or retardation of parents, use of legal or illegal drugs by parents, and/or a diagnosis of venereal disease for either parent.
  5. Children who require sibling placements.
  6. Children with other impediments to adoption such as long-term foster care, legal complications, and social and genetic negatives in the family background.


Stalking is purposely and repeatedly harassing or following with the intent of harassing a child.  Harassing in this context means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific child that serves no legitimate purpose, and that would cause a reasonable adult to believe the child would suffer substantial emotional distress.  “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which shows a continuity of purpose.


” (a) child….charged with an offense not classified as criminal, or with an offense applicable only to children; except that, the juvenile court shall not have jurisdiction over any child sixteen years of age who is alleged to have violated a state or municipal traffic ordinance or regulation, the violation of which does not constitute a felony;…” (Section 211.031(2,e), RSMo.)


The term essentially refers to non-criminal misbehavior, which would not be criminal if committed by an adult (i.e., truancy, runaway, etc.).  The behavior is an offense only because of the minor’s status as a minor.


An agreement between the attorneys in a case, entered into in court, allowing a certain fact to be established in evidence without the necessity for further proof.


The child (age 0-18), parent, guardian, caretaker, or alleged perpetrator mentioned in a CA/N report.


Those children placed in Children’s Division (CD) custody and placed in relative homes, foster homes, group homes, residential treatment facilities, institutional care, transitional living arrangements, or independent living.


A legal document, usually issued by a court clerk, requiring that the person named in the subpoena appear on a stated day and time at a specified court to give testimony in a case.


Lit., “Bring with you,” a subpoena served upon the person who has custody of records, commanding that such custodian bring the specified records to court on the stated day and time.


A legal document, issued by the court clerk or other court officer, notifying the named person that a lawsuit or legal cause has been filed against or involves him or her, and notifying such person of any dates set for hearings and deadlines for responding to the complaint or petition.


Barriers exist which have or may result in the child being left unattended.  Being left unattended poses a risk to the child’s safety.


An evaluation of whether all viable placement options have been explored and exhausted in efforts to reunite siblings, review the impact of such separation on the child’s well-being, and determine whether FST meetings are continuing to pursue potential placement providers for the sibling group.  These reviews are conducted by Circuit Managers, along with the appropriate regional staff, will be conducting supervisory sibling case reviews within 30 days of sibling separation to address sibling placement.




A relative as defined below providing care to a child who is eligible to receive the temporary assistance benefit as provided in sections 208.040 and 208.047, RSMo. Non-parent caretaker relative payees are:

  1. Any blood relative including those of half-blood and including first cousins, nephews, or nieces. Relationships to persons of preceding generations as denoted by prefixes of grand, great, or great-great are within this definition.
  2. Stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, and stepsister. (The blood relatives of a step-relative are not nonparent caretaker relative payees for temporary assistance.)
  3. Persons who legally adopt a child or adopt the parent of a child, and other relatives by adoption meeting the criteria established for blood relatives.
  4. Spouses of any persons named in the above groups. Such relatives may be considered within the scope of this provision even though the marriage is terminated by death or divorce.

NOTE:  The Division applies the definition of a temporary assistance non-parent caretaker relative payee to those relatives who elect to become “licensed” in order to receive IV-E alternative care as payment for the care of the relative child.


A judicial proceeding freeing a child from all custody and control by a parent or parents, so that the child can be adopted by others.


A legal proceeding in a juvenile court which considers the need to sever the legal ties of a child from his/her natural parents, adoptive parents, or guardian.


A statement or declaration made to establish a fact or facts and given under oath.


Any information obtained by the Children’s Division that is generated by a sending agency or court pursuant to the statutes governing their operations (i.e., juvenile courts – Chapter 211).  Such information is maintained in a separate administrative file.  Exceptions to this policy are information generated and/or contracted for by Children’s Division or obtained from other sources as a result of an investigation or assessment conducted pursuant to 210.110 to 210.145, RSMo.


Specific family situation or behavior, emotion, motive, perception or capacity of a family member that is out-of-control, imminent and likely to have severe effects on a vulnerable child.


Services provided to a family for a limited length of time based upon a goal-specific treatment plan.


Diagram consisting of straight lines on which to chronologically document critical events within a family.


A match of state and federal funds authorized by the Social Security Act, Title IV-E, for eligible children with special needs who have been placed for adoption and subsequently adopted.  Assistance includes payment for costs of maintenance, medical and children’s services.  Eligible children include only those who were previously eligible for Temporary Assistance (formerly AFDC) and IV-E Alternative Care, and who have a “specific factor or condition (such as his ethnic background, age, or membership in a minority or sibling group, or the presence of factors such as medical conditions or physical, mental, or emotional handicaps); and it is not possible to place the child without assistance after a reasonable effort to find an appropriate adoptive family resource.”  (The legal costs of adoption proceedings are not included as a part of the assistance.)


A match of state and federal funds authorized by the Social Security Act, Title IV-E, for eligible children which is used to meet maintenance costs of their care when a judicial determination has been made for the child to remain in the care of his parents or other temporary assistance non-parent caretaker relative payees would be contrary to the welfare of the child.  The child must continue to meet all eligibility requirements of need, deprivation of parental support or care, and must not exceed 18 years of age unless graduation from high school will occur before the child’s 19th birthday.   Families caring for relative children who are in the custody of the Division are eligible if they meet the definition of a temporary assistance relative payee.  These families must also be approved as meeting the licensing standards for families providing out-of-home care.


An internal or external injury or wound brought about by an outside force.  Usually trauma means injury by violence, but may also apply to the wound caused by a surgical procedure.  Trauma may occur accidentally or, as in the case of physical abuse, non-accidentally.  Trauma is also a term applied to psychological discomfort or symptoms resulting from any emotional shock or painful experience.

INDIVIDUAL Trauma: Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that can have lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and physical, social, emotional well-being.


An agreement designed through a mutual process of negotiation between the Division, the parent(s), and the juvenile court (if required by the court) setting out those activities necessary for achievement of reunification of the child with the parents and incorporating the following:

  1. Attention to some or all the barriers which prevent return of the child;
  2. The length of the treatment plan (30 days minimum, 180 days maximum);
  3. A visiting plan for the parents and the child;
  4. Basic items that deal with problems that contributed to the child’s need for placement;
  5. Statements which clearly identify the expected and desired behavioral changes (change objectives) for the parent and which are consistent with the parents capabilities;
  6. An appropriate number of tasks which are reasonable and feasible for the parents;
  7. Statements which direct a fair evaluation of progress at agreed upon time intervals.




After thorough physical attempts, as well as Children’s Division automated systems checks, the “subject” family cannot be located, within or outside the state.


A child is unsafe when a child is vulnerable to a threat of danger within a family/home and the caregiver’s protective capacities within the home are insufficient to manage the threat thus requiring outside intervention.


To establish by proof or competent evidence through investigation that there is insufficient or no evidence for the allegations of abuse and/or neglect.


To establish through investigation that abuse/neglect has not occurred, but the family is experiencing problems, which if unresolved, could potentially contribute to abuse/neglect.




A letter signed by the case manager provided to the youth on state letterhead verifying the youth’s time in care and exit date.  The letter aids youth in receiving assistance after leaving care within the state and out of state for services that require eligibility verification.


A written agreement between the Department of Social Services (DSS)/Children’s Division (CD) and a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child under the age of eighteen (18) in need of mental health treatment.  The agreement is only used when an out-of-home placement is recommended by DMH and the Custody Diversion Protocol cannot otherwise divert the need for such placement.  DMH determines the need for mental health services and administers the placement and care of a child while the parent, legal guardian, or custodian of the child retains legal custody.  A VPA may not exceed 180 days in duration.




A hearing held in juvenile court to determine the fitness of a minor for retention in juvenile court, and the minor’s amenability to juvenile court resources.


A minor who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for a delinquent act, status offense or an allegation or finding of abuse, neglect, or dependency.  Also, a person who has a legally appointed guardian is the ward of the guardian.


Legal document issued by a judge authorizing the search of a place and seizure of specified items found there (search warrant), or the arrest or detention of a specified person (arrest warrant).  No hearing is required and the person need not be notified, but the court must be given probable or reasonable cause to believe that the warrant is necessary for apprehension before it issues a warrant.  Affidavits are frequently used in establishing probable or reasonable cause.

WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN Specialized Food Program (WIC):

A program funded and administered by the U. S. Department of Agriculture operating through contracts granted by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to local county health departments or other health providers.  Eligibility criteria includes income below 175% of the national poverty level and certain “at risk” health conditions for the mother during her pregnancy and, for the mother and child (up to age 5 years).  Supplemental nutritious foods and nutrition guidance are the two primary services.


An order issued by a court commanding that a certain act or acts be done or not done.