A-Z Glossary

Many adoption, foster care and child welfare vocabulary are subject to interpretation. This glossary identifies commonly held definitions for terminology that can be found in the field. It defines common acronyms and provides comprehensive definitions for a broad range of terms. The glossary will be updated as new terminology emerges in the field and as new legislation is enacted.

A-Z Glossary – Choose a Letter

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There are 5 names in this directory beginning with the letter W.
Waiting Children
Children who are waiting to be adopted. These are often children in the public child welfare system that cannot return to their birth homes and need permanent, loving families to help them grow up safe and secure.

Waiting Families
Families waiting to adopt a child.

Waiting List
Many years ago it was common to develop a list of prospective adoptive parents waiting to adopt a child. Today waiting lists are not typically used for adoption. Today adoption professionals take into consideration the preferences of the prospective adoptive parents, the expectant parents or birth family as well as considering what is in the best interests of the child. Often within infant adoption the birth parents will be the ones to select the adoptive family.

Waiting Period
Typically refers to the time period, which must lapse between birth and the time the consent to the adoption can be signed by the birth parents (varies from state to state).

Wraparound Services
This is a term used to describe a process by which service providers agree to collaborate to improve the lives of children, families and adults by creating, enhancing, and accessing a coordinated system of support through a strengths-based, client-driven model. An emphasis is placed on identifying and enhancing the client’s natural and informal supports, or to assist them in finding new informal supports. The client may be defined as an individual or as an entire family. Wraparound is specifically designed to address crisis concerns and keep an individual adult or child in their home and community. Examples of wraparound services include: respite services, intensive case management, drop in center or support group, other home or school based services.


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