Adoption Assistance Agreement: a binding written agreement for contracting parties between the State Agency, other relevant agencies and the prospective adoptive parents of a minor child, which contains at least: The Hague Convention: a multinational agreement (convention on the protection of children and cooperation in international adoption) establishing international rules and procedures for adoptions between countries that have contractual relations within the framework of the convention. It provides Member States with a framework for cooperation to ensure that adoption takes place in the best interests of the child and to prevent the abduction, sale or trafficking of children. The Convention also establishes a central authority in each country to ensure that there is a relevant source of information and point of contact for potential adoptive parents in order to obtain reliable and accurate information. Voluntary mediation: an agreement between the parent/guardian and the DCS regarding a child suffering from an emotional, behavioural or mental disorder or a developmental disability or physical disability, who is voluntarily relocated out of the home for specific treatment or care, simply because the parent/legal guardian is unable to provide treatment or care. Family Support/Community Services Plan: a written agreement between the DCS and the parent/guardian that defines the assistance that will be used for large families or community services and how they guarantee the direct safety of the child. The plan should include measures that should include completion times that do not exceed the end of the evaluation. All measures should focus directly on the direct safety of the child. Withdrawal of adoption: legal revocation of an adoption agreement by birth parents. The circumstances and deadlines for revocation are set by the states.
Cultural competence: the ability of individuals and systems to respond with respect and efficiency to people of all cultures, classes, races, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations and beliefs or religions in a way that recognizes, validates and values the value of individuals, families, tribes and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of everyone. Cultural competence is an ongoing process to learn about the cultural strengths of others and integrate their unique abilities and perspectives into our lives. Administrative Law Judge (ALJ): Auditor-advisor recruited or appointed by a government authority to preside over administrative appeals and make decisions. Multi-Ethnic Placement Act and Inter-Ethnic Placement Act (MEPA/IEPA): federal requirements to prohibit discrimination, whether for children in need of a suitable and safe home, for potential parents or for previously “under-exploited” communities that could be resources for housing children. The three basic mandates include: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS): a series of physical and mental congenital errors in babies whose mothers drank alcohol regularly and heavily during pregnancy. Caregiver: someone who looks after the physical, emotional and social needs of a dependent person who cannot meet his or her own needs.