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Physical Abuse

Defined by Washington State regulation as the non-accidental infliction of physical injury on or physical mistreatment of a child, physi­cal abuse may include, but is not limited to, such actions as: throwing, kicking, burning, or cutting a child; striking a child with a closed fist; shaking a child under age three; interfering with a child’s breathing; threatening a child with a deadly weapon; or doing any other act that is likely to cause bodily harm greater than transient pain or minor temporary marks or which is injurious to the child’s health, welfare, and safety.


Placement Setting

POC uses the University of Chicago, Chapin Hall placement definitions. The POC match to Children's Administration's placement setting terminology is as follows: 1) a 'shelter' placement setting includes group, secured, family, or regional crisis residential centers; 2) a 'foster' placement setting includes adoptive homes, foster homes/receiving homes, and therapeutic foster homes; 3) a 'group' placement setting includes group homes, group care (staff residential), detention centers, juvenile rehabilitation centers, supervised independent living arrangements, and short term detention; 4) a 'kin' placement setting includes relative placement, licensed foster homes (godparents, support networks, Tribal relatives, or relatives of specified degree or not) and relatives of specified degree (not receiving foster care payments); and 5) 'other' placement settings include court ordered unlicensed placements, regional assessment centers; hospitals, and all other (e.g., children on the run, birth/adoptive).

Placement Stability

The number of times a child in out-of-home placement changes their place of residence is a measure of placement stability. Because of the seriousness of long term consequences for children, placement stability within 12 months of entry into foster care was one of the three outcome measures established in the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR).



Practice Model

In the field of public child welfare, a practice model defines how to effectively deliver services to children, youth, and families. The model includes: desired outcomes, principles, theory of change, evidence informed practice, process and quality of care, and service array. ‘Principles’ reference the obligation to behaviorally define and model the basic values of performance with regard to the services provided to children, youth, and families. ‘Theory of change’ refers to the underlying beliefs and assumptions that guide the delivery of services to produce change and improvement in the lives of children, youth, and families. ‘Evidence Informed Practice’ is the use of best practice standards and available research that includes measurable indicators that can be consistently monitored and evaluated. ‘Process and quality of care’ is the development and expansion the use of best practices to maximize individual functioning and promote community strength and stability. Finally, a ‘service array’, in terms of a practice model, is the provision those services necessary to meet the needs of the population being served. For Washington State’s dominant practice model, see Solution Based Casework.


Protective Custody

In an emergent situation (i.e., when a child is at risk of imminent risk or has already been seriously injured or neglected) a police officer can place a child in protective custody for no more than 72 hours. The policie officer transfers custody to CPS, which places the child either in a licensed foster home or with a relative.