Acronyms of the Fostering World

Hey all! If you’re following my husband and I through this journey I figure I give you a heads up of all the acronyms we will be using. I know that things are about to pick up, which is super exciting and super scary all at once.


FD/FS – foster daughter and foster son. This will accompany their age most times (FD1)

TPR – termination of parental rights

AD/AS – adopted daughter and adopted son. Honestly, I would probably never use these acronyms since family is family and I don’t distinguish between whether you’re blood or not. The paper will say a kiddo is mine and that’s exactly how I’ll see them, as my son or daughter. Sorry. /vent

BM/BD – birth mom and birth

CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocate. This is a representative appointed by a judge to speak on the behalf of an abused or neglected child in court. Their job is to meet with the child and attend hearings to express what is best for that child. I thought about becoming a CASA.

CPS – Child Protective Services, which is the governmental agency in many US states responsible for investigating reports of abuse and neglect of children.

CW – Case worker or social worker. This person should be the advocate FOR the child and no one else

DSHS – Department of Social and Human Services. This is the state agency that is in charge of social programs, including those for children in foster care.

CA – Children’s Administration. This is the public child welfare agency for the state of Washington

FTT – Failure to Thrive. Underdevelopment and lack of growth in a child. Symptoms include: Height, weight, and head circumference below standard growth charts. Weight is lower than 3rd percentile of standard growth charts.

IEP – Individualized Educational Plan – an individualized document that is required for a child who receives special education services and is designed to address each child’s unique learning issues and include specific educational goals.

GAL – Guardian Ad Litem. A person appointed by the court to represent the “best interest of the child.”

HIPPA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Federal law that make it easier for people to keep health insurance, protect the confidentiality and security of healthcare information.

ICPC – Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children – a statutory agreement between all 50 states that governs the placement of children from one state into another state. It sets forth the requirements that must be met before a child can be placed out of state,

WIC – Women, Infants and Children – Federal program that provides vouchers for food and formula for infants and children under 5 years old

ICWA – Indian Child Welfare Act – Federal law that regulates custody and placement of Native American children not only in foster care, but also in adoption proceedings. The law gives preference to a child’s extended family or to a member of the child’s tribe over a non-Native American adoptive parent.

DLR – Division of licensed resources. They are the division of children’s administration responsible for licensing or certifying child care homes and facilities.

WAC – Minimum Licensing Requirements for Child Foster Homes. Basically all the fun rules.


I really can’t wait for this to happen. Which is why you have this post. I probably missed a lot of different acronyms that the Foster world uses but these are the ones that I’ve heard during training, on my research, and while I was younger.

Side note: Little one, where ever you are, I can’t wait for you. I know I’m gong to fall in love with you as soon as I see you. I will want to protect you and support you. I’m trying to learn everything I can to be the mama you need me to be, no matter the length of time. People say this lifestyle will cause me to hurt as much as the miscarriages, but, I think all those miscarriages have led me here. To be able to love completely and without judgement or filter. xoxo

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