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Action Step:  a small step or short term goal the youth involved will take to be able to achieve their case plan goal. 

Adjudication: a term used in the juvenile court proceeding to indicate that a youth has been found to have committed a delinquent act. It is similar to a guilty finding in an adult criminal court. In child welfare cases, when allegations of abuse, neglect or dependency are determined true, the court “adjudicates” to have jurisdiction over the parties involved.  

Affidavit: a sworn, under oath, written declaration of the facts in the case. 

Aggression Replacement Training (ART): a cognitive behavioral intervention that helps a juvenile focus on learning and acquiring new skills to avoid high risk situations in the future.  

Alternative Response Training (ART): a cognitive behavioral intervention that stresses learning new skills to prevent high risk situations in the future.  

Apology Letter: a letter that a juvenile writes the victim of their conduct/behavior or other third parties to express their regret towards their previous actions. It is a method of putting into words, typically on paper, how the juvenile intends to make a positive change in the future from a previous negative action.  

Appeal: a review by a higher court (Missouri or Kansas Court of Appeals or the Missouri or Kansas Supreme Court) of a lower court’s (a district or circuit court) final judgment or decree. An appeal is a review of a previous trial and no new evidence is presented. 

Arraignment:  the initial hearing for a juvenile after a petition has been filed where the offenses of the juvenile are read, the juvenile is advised of their rights and they are asked to admit or deny the offenses that they are accused of. 

Arraignment Waiver:  a form that permits a juvenile to skip the formal in court arraignment process and proceed to a pre-trial hearing.  

Assessment:  the process by which a probation officer gathers information from the juvenile and their family to complete a pre-sentence report assessment. 

Balanced and Restorative Justice Model (BARJ) this is a model that the juvenile system is based on that focuses on the principles of balancing the considerations of three different groups: the juvenile offender, the crime victim and society as a whole. The three components or focuses of BARJ are competency development, accountability and community safety. 

Behavioral Analysis Worksheet (BAW): a guide that helps a juvenile connect their inappropriate behaviors with their feelings and thoughts. The goal is to help a juvenile connect their repeated behaviors with feelings and thoughts so that a pattern of changed thinking can be considered. 

Behavior Change:  this is the goal for a juvenile to incorporate new skills into their every day life to avoid problematic situations and behaviors in the future. The juvenile’s case plan goals and action steps are typically aimed toward effecting behavior changes to make lasting changes for the youth. 

Brief Intervention Tools (BITs): a worksheet that is frequently used by probation officers to address primary skill deficits for juveniles to help focus efforts to change their behavior.  

Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI):  a division of Missouri and Kansas departments of public safety that manages criminal identification services such as fingerprinting, criminal records, AMBER alerts and missing persons. 

Case Plan:  a plan created with the juvenile’s input to address their risk factors while the juvenile is under court jurisdiction to try to target and change the juvenile’s behavior. The plan typically takes into account the juvenile’s perspective on their behavior and attempts to provide meaningful incentives for the juvenile to have positive behavior. 

Case Plan Goal: the desired behavior change that is associated with a risk factor that if the juvenile accomplishes, results in the juvenile meeting their case plan. 

Child Welfare (CW): cases in the juvenile court system that are not related to a delinquency offense, but rather, relate to allegations of abuse, neglect, abandonment or cases where the child is dependent on the state/child welfare system for care and support. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT):  a type of behavioral therapy that has been shown to be most effective at reducing rates of reoccurrence. 

Community-based: a placement of a juvenile in a non-secure location, typically a family placement or foster care placement while the juvenile is under the jurisdiction of the court. This typically refers to a treatment or invention option that the juvenile is able to receive while still living in a home setting or environment. 

Community Service:  a frequent consequence imposed by the juvenile system after adjudication or non-judicial adjustment that requires the juvenile to work in the community to repay society as the result of the harm done by their actions. 

Contempt of Court:  an act involving disrespect to the court or a failure to obey or honor a court order or rule. 

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA): CASA volunteers are sworn officers of the court who are appointed to juvenile court judges to advocate for children who are living in foster care as the result of abuse and/or neglect. The CASA program ensures that an assigned individual is looking out for the best interests of a child. Volunteers advocate for the child in court and provide written reports for court hearings.  

Court Records: all juvenile court legal, social and probation records that are prepared, owned, received or maintained by the court in the action.  

Custodian: the person who has physical and/or legal control of a child under the age of eighteen as the result of temporary circumstances as the result of court order, or based on a permanent basis by either natural parenthood or adoption.  

Custody: the physical and legal responsibilities to care for a minor child as the result of being a natural parent, adoption, or a legal assignment through a court or juvenile proceeding.  

Defense Attorney: an attorney appointed for, or hired by, a client or their family to represent the juvenile or the family in a formal court process (or allegations of abuse) protect the child or family’s rights, ensure due process of law and represent their interests.  

Delinquency: a general term referencing conduct by a juvenile that is out of line with accepted/appropriate expectations of behavior or the law, a general category of juvenile matters before the court involving children who have violated federal, state, local or municipal ordinances.  

Delinquent Youth: a child under the age of 18 who has committed an act that is a crime or a violation of the law. 

Department of Family Services (DFS): the division of the state that seeks to provide safety and protect youth, children, families and adults to help families remain intact and to help children thrive in their homes, schools, workplaces and communities.  

Detention: detention provides a short-term locked confinement for a delinquent juvenile awaiting adjudication, placement or who have received an adjudication to remain in a secure facility. It is designed to provide short term control or intervention to juveniles who pose an immediate danger to themselves or others.  

Detention Hearing: a hearing that is held within 48 hours of a juvenile offender’s placement to a detention facility. At this hearing, the juvenile court judge determines whether the juvenile should continue in detention, be returned home or placed in a different type of facility. 

Disposition: a court order entered after adjudication, similar to the entry of sentencing for adults. 

Dispositional Report: a written report prepared by the probation officer relating to a juvenile’s mental, physical and social history and recommendations for the juvenile’s needs based on the assigned probation officer to assist the juvenile court in making an appropriate disposition. 

Dynamic Risk Factors: characteristics, traits, problems or issues that relate to the juvenile’s likelihood of committing another delinquent act. They are specific traits that contribute to the eight criminogenic need categories. 

Episode: a group of offenses by a juvenile that occur at the same period of time, generally in the same day. 

Evidence Based Practices (EBP): these are the practices that have been shown to improve juvenile outcomes and reduce recidivism. These include the basic principles of risk, need, responsivity, and program integrity.  

Evidentiary Hearing: a hearing where evidence is presented and testimony is typically provided under oath through juvenile court to make a decision regarding whether evidence will be presented at a trial. 

Expungement: a court order allowing the destruction or sealing of records after the passage of a specific amount of time or where the person reaches a specified age if they have not committed another offense/act. 

Families First: an evidence based, in home, parent skill based intervention designed to teach parents and juveniles to change unwanted behaviors occurring in the home, to improve family functioning. 

Family First Prevention Services Act:  Federal law enacted in 2018 changing the child welfare financing system to provide services to juveniles and their families at risk for entering into the child welfare system. 

Fine: a sum of money paid as a consequence to the juvenile after adjudication for a particular behavior or offense. 

Formal Probation: a probation status for higher risk youth that need additional time under court jurisdiction to work with a probation officer based on dynamic risk factors, complete interventions and have intense supervision needs. 

Guardian ad Litem (GAL): a specially trained attorney to represent the best interests of a youth or juvenile. The role a GAL differs from a traditional lawyer in that the GAL’s goal is the best interests of the child, which may be contrary to the child’s wishes. 

Guardianship: a guardian is a person assigned/appointed by the court to take care of a child. Typically, this includes such tings as shelter, education, food, and medical care. Guardianship of minors reviews a legal relationship between a minor child that gives the responsible adult certain obligations. 

Hearing: an event before a judge for the purpose of deciding issues, findings of fact, law or both issues. 

Home Detention: an alternative to a locked detention center where a juvenile offender needs to be confined to their home as long as they will not be a danger to themselves or others. 

Home Visit: a scheduled or unscheduled visit that a probation officer or other persons in the system to visit the child’s home.  

House Arrest: a short term restriction applied by the juvenile court judge that limits the juvenile from leaving their home, except for approved activities such as school or attending counseling.  

Incentives: items or areas of value that influence a juvenile to change and support needed changes in behavior, including positive attitudes, and compliance with court ordered conditions. 

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA): a federal law created to protect American Indian and Alaskan Native children in state custody proceedings for children who are members of, or eligible for membership in federally recognized tribe. ICWA establishes procedures and requirements for proceedings where Indian children are involved in state custody proceedings and requires considerations for foster care placement, termination of parental rights, adoption, and out of home placements. 

Interstate Compact on Juveniles (ICJ): a contract between member states providing cooperative, uniform handling of juveniles for supervision, probation, parole, the return from one state to another of youth who have escaped or absconded, additional measures for the protection of youth and the public, which two different states undertake cooperatively. 

Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC): a statutory agreement between all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. The agreement oversees the placement of children from one state into another state. It provides the requirements that must be met to place a child out of state. It ensures that out of state placements are safe and suitable before approval. 

Intervention: a program or service for a juvenile to complete with a probation officer to address the juvenile’s risk factors.  

Juvenile Court Judge: the judicial officer overseeing a juvenile’s case while under jurisdiction.  

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency and Prevention Act (JJDPA): a United States federal law providing grants to states that follow a series of requirements on the care and treatment of youth in the juvenile justice system. 

Juvenile Justice System:  a term referencing the juvenile court police agencies, probation, the county attorney, agencies and institutions and their inter-relationships in dealing with juveniles.  

Mediation: the settlement or resolution of a dispute between people with the help of an independent third party. Mediation is often voluntary and it is a less formal way of discussing the issues and coming to an agreed resolution. 

Mental Health Court: a therapeutic court for juveniles who have a diagnosed mental health disorder that has contributed to their behavior.  

Misdemeanor: a minor offense, lower than a felony.  

National Crime Information Center (NCIC): the United States’ central database for tracking crime related information.  

Non-compliance: when a juvenile fails to complete a request from probation, an order from the court or generally engages in problematic behavior that results in further involvement/intervention. 

Offense: a matter referred to juvenile court alleging that a juvenile has violated a federal, state, local or municipal ordinance.  

Pattern of Behavior: a juvenile’s thoughts, attitudes and behaviors during their wrongful activities. It encompasses the current referral and other instances when the juvenile has been in trouble.  

Petition: the legal document that describes the offense committed by the juvenile. In a child welfare case, the petition is a document filed with the court that commences proceedings listing out how a child has been abused, neglected or is dependent. 

Plea: the juvenile’s formal response to an alleged offense. The juvenile will enter their plea as admit or deny. 

Plea Bargain:  a negotiation where the prosecutor and defense attorney negotiate an agreeable disposition of the case. 

Preliminary Interview (PI): the initial meeting between a juvenile, their parents or guardians, and a probation officer where a study and assessments are conducted by the probation department upon receiving a referral to determine whether further action should be taken.  

Presumptive Timeline: the recommended amount of time a juvenile should remain under court jurisdiction to complete their intervention and other items needed for the juvenile court. 

Pre-trial hearing:  a hearing scheduled after an arraignment hearing if there are additional items that need to be discussed or prepared.  

Probation Officer (PO): an officer of the court who supervises juveniles who are under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court Probation officers complete risk assessments and case plans, worth with juveniles on skill development and collaborate with treatment programs and other services or agencies working with youth.  

Psychological Evaluation: a detailed mental assessment where a psychologist or psychiatrist evaluates to determine if a person is experiencing mental health problems. The evaluation involves multiple components of answering questions verbally and completing tests and questions.  

Psychosexual Evaluation:  an evaluation focusing on a individual’s psychological and sexual functioning. This evaluation examines the juvenile’s sexual interests, attitudes, and behaviors and see if there are concerns with deviant behaviors. It also evaluates the individual’s risk for re-offending or acting out sexually. 

Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP): a specific category of non-foster family home setting in which DFS must meet a detailed assessment, case planning, permanency hearing requirements for a child and they receive federal funding.  

Recidivism: the consideration/determination of the repeated violation of the law after having already been adjudicated of prior offenses. This refers to the likelihood of the juvenile committing another offense after their initial referral to juvenile court. 

Referral:  a written report submitted to law enforcement who has reason the juvenile has committed an offense that would place them in the jurisdiction of the court.  

Restitution: money, goods or services/community service time assessed against a juvenile to restore the victim to justice or compensate them for loss. 

Review: a hearing before the juvenile court judge to discuss the progress the juvenile has made under continuing jurisdiction of the court. 

Reward: something given to the youth in support/recognition of positive efforts made.  

Risk Reduction: decrease in a juvenile’s risk level indicating a substantial reduction in the number of risk factors that a juvenile possesses. 

Safety Plan: a plan that outlines the restrictions, limitations, supervision requirements or special conditions to minimize the potential risk to the community and/or the alleged victim. 

Sanction: a consequence that is imposed when the juvenile engages in non-compliance. 

School Resource officer (SRO): a sworn law enforcement officer responsible for safety and crime prevention at schools. SROs work closely with school administrators to create a safer environment in schools. 

Shelter Hearing: a court hearing held within 72 hours from the time the child is removed from the home in abuse, dependency, or neglect cases.  

Stages of Change: a metric used by the juvenile court to determine how committed a juvenile is to changing their behavior. The juvenile could be in many different stages at once: 

Precontemplation: the juvenile does not see problems with their behavior and is happy with how things are going; 

Contemplation: the juvenile sees the benefits of changing their behavior but is not ready/able to commit to change; 

Preparation: the juvenile is planning how to change their behavior but no action has been taken; 

Action: the juvenile has put a plan into actual action steps; 

Maintenance: the juvenile has been able to exhibit six months of sustained behavior change;              

Relapse: the juvenile has fallen into a previous stage after making progress; 

Status Offense: misbehavior by the juvenile that would not be criminal if committed by an adult but is problematic because of the juvenile’s age. Some examples would include using tobacco, using alcohol or non-attendance at school.  

Summons: a notice to the parent or guardian of a juvenile who has had a petition filed about their interest notifying them to appear in court with their juvenile at a particular time, date and place. 

Teaming: the partnership between the juvenile, the family, the juvenile justice professionals and other service professionals to serve, support, motivate and engage youth and their families through the case plan. 

Termination of Jurisdiction:  the juvenile court concluding their involvement or control over the juvenile in a particular case.  

Termination of Parental Rights (TPR): the permanent cancellation of all parental rights and duties including legal and physical custody rights by court order.  

Trial: a formal, legal proceeding on a contested matter before the court.  

Truant: a juvenile who is a school aged youth and subject to the state’s requirement under education law that fails to attend school without a legitimate reason or valid excuse. 

Urine Analysis (UA) : a urine sample collected to test for illegal or prohibited substances.  

Warrant: an order issued by the juvenile court judge granting authority to a law enforcement officer to perform an act, an arrest, a search or seizure.  

Youth Court: a diversion program that works with juveniles who have committed minor offenses to address their behavior in an effort to prevent them from formally entering into the juvenile justice system. 


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