Glossary of Terms

From the MCFD Caregiver Support Service Standards:


a person with whom a child is placed by a director and who, by agreement with the director, has assumed responsibility for the child's day-to-day care.

child in care

all children in care of a director designated under the Child, Family and Community Service Act. The children are in care under the Child Family and Community Service Act, the Adoption Act, or the Family Relations Act.

child's team

people who are involved in planning and caring for a child, including the child according to his or her developmental abilities, the child's family and extended family members, caregiver, caregiver's worker, child's and family's worker, involved community members, service providers and other significant people in the child's life. For an Aboriginal child, members of the child's Aboriginal community and, where it exists, members of the child's delegated Aboriginal agency are also involved.

extended family

includes family members related by blood or marriage and includes second and third generations. Extended family also includes persons who have a significant and/or meaningful relationship to a child or adult but are not related by blood or marriage, such as "godparents" or persons to whom the child refers to as "aunt" or "uncle." Family or extended family in Aboriginal cultures includes relations and community people involved in "raising" a child and the people with whom the child was raised. It is a connection to the Elders and ancestors.

family care home

a family or person approved by and funded by a director to care for children who are in care of the director. Persons who provide family care home services are referred to as caregivers. Family care home services are provided from private homes where caregivers reside. There are three types of family care homes:

regular family care home

director-approved family who provides care for children of varying ages and needs. Unlike restricted family care homes, the child placed in the home is not normally known by the caregiver.

restricted family care home

director-approved family who provides care for a child known or related to them. Approval is restricted to the specific child placed in the home and terminates when that child leaves or is discharged from care. A restricted home may be re-approved if the child previously in care at that home returns to it, or to provide respite or relief services for that child.

specialized family care home

director-approved family who provides care and support for a child in care who may present with complex health needs and/or challenging behaviours that interfere with his or her quality of social interactions and daily functioning. Each of the three levels of specialized family care homes has specific approval, experience and training requirements. Level 2 and 3 homes may also provide specialized assessment and intervention services.

family care home agreement

a contract between the ministry and the caregiver that sets out the purpose of the agreement, the obligations of the caregiver, the obligations of the director, and the term of the agreement. These agreements were developed in consultation with the BC Federation of Foster Parent Associations, are designed specifically for caregivers, and meet the requirements of the CFCSA.

mandatory training

(currently called The BC Foster Parent Education Program) training that is required of caregivers by a director of the CFCSA.

plan of care or child's plan

an action-based planning tool for children in care, used to identify specific developmental objectives based on continuous assessments of the child's evolving needs and the outcomes of previous decisions and actions. Care plans are completed by the child's worker with the involvement of the child, the family, the extended family, the caregiver, service providers, significant people in the child's life, and for an Aboriginal child, the child's Aboriginal community.

pre-service caregiver orientation or information sessions

during the screening process, prospective caregivers are invited to attend a series of orientation or information sessions that:

  • provide information about the recruitment, participatory assessment and approval process
  • outline the ministry's expectations of caregivers, including the team approach to caring for children and their families
  • promote awareness and understanding of the diverse needs of children in care, and
  • introduce positive and effective styles of parenting.

This allows prospective caregivers to gain a realistic understanding of the rewards and challenges of caregiving, in order to assess their own readiness and capacity.


in-home and out-of-home alternative caregiving arrangements for a child in care provided for a caregiver.


out-of-home care provided by the director for a child's parents, with whom there is a support services agreement.

smoke-free environment

smoking does not take place at any time in enclosed spaces where children in care would be exposed to second-hand smoke or the residual toxins from second-hand smoke. This includes the caregiver's home and vehicle. This does not restrict spiritual activities relating to the use of tobacco.