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Child welfare glossary

Like every field and industry, child welfare has developed its own vocabulary and acronyms. This child welfare glossary of important words related to child welfare and child well-being will provide practical definitions and link to news articles and reports to provide real-world examples of the practices the child welfare words describe.


Child Welfare Glossary

“Dwelling” or “Dwellers” — an informal expression which identifies children who remain stuck in a level of care, such as hospitalization, after their treatment has been completed because there is no next place to receive them.

Hoteling, Hotelling, Temporary Lodging — refers to the child welfare practice of placing children in hotels or requiring them to spend nights in state agency offices because the child welfare agency has no access to a relative placement, foster home, respite care, emergency shelter, or treatment option for a child.

Ombudsman – Ombuds for Children assist children and their parents or guardians in resolving concerns about interactions with state agencies. This support is critical when a child’s needs are not met according to state policy and regulations. State Ombuds for children typically release annual reports to the public and respond to the inquiries and requirements of state legislatures. On October 2, 2023, Louisiana joined the great majority of states that provide ombudsman services for their children.

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