There are many different acronyms that are used for the different sections of Child Welfare.

Bureau of Children and Adult Licensing = BCAL

BCAL is a federal unit that approves or denies home studies for licensure. They also give the rules for which Department of Human Services and private agencies follow. There are a lot of branches to BCAL that you may encounter and you may never interact with. If you have any questions about specific units of BCAL, please ask and I will investigate for you.

Department of Human Services = DHS

DHS is state unit that helps underprivileged people in the county that the DHS resides. Also, Child Protective Services resides within DHS. Child Protective Services (CPS) are the workers that are the first respondents to accusations regarding child abuse or neglect. DHS also has foster care workers and PRIDE coordinators. This is where people would apply for cash assistance, food stamps, or funds in the case of a natural disaster. DHS encompasses many beneficial people and programs for foster care parents.

Adoption Option, Inc. = AOI

Adoption Option Inc. (AOI) is a child welfare organization based out of Midland, MI. We serve children and families throughout central Michigan. We don’t do just adoptions, anymore. We provide services in the area of adoption, foster licensing, foster
care, supervised visitation, parent
education services, family reunification services.
(For more information on any of these topics, click on the hyperlink or keep
checking back for more blog posts.) All of the staff that work in this agency
have a passion to help children and families. This passion has been woven into
each of the services that AOI provides. I’m work within the foster home licensing program so this is where my background begins. However do not feel limited in your questions to this blog. Not only am I resourceful, there are many knowledgeable staff members that are only a few feet away that I can consult to locate the answers for you.

ICPC = Interstate Compact Placement Center

ICPC is the organization that agencies have to send their information to in the case of a interstate competing party. When a child is available for adoption, the child’s birth family is notified as to attempt to keep the child in the family. By the time a child is placed in foster care or is in the process of being adopted, no relatives have come forth to foster/adopt the child. However, sometimes there’s an extended family member that came forth to try to adopt the child. When this happens, it’s considered a competing party case. Both sides are interviewed and looked at with scrutiny to determine best fit for the child. If the relative family is in another state, then ICPC must be brought in to ensure that both state’s policies are being upheld and to help with confidentiality.

If you can think of any other acronyms that are unfamiliar to you, please comment and we will help you define them and explain what they are in relation to adoption, foster care, or licensing.

As always please contact AOI if you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent or about adopting a child from foster care.