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Glossary A - D

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absenteeism In education and child development contexts, time missed from school. Lack of health insurance and regular medical checkups leading to frequent and/or chronic illness, lack of adequate transportation, households with multiple risk factors, and parents' mental and physical health may all have an impact on children's absenteeism. In general, the most vulnerable children – that is, those who are poor or racial/ethnic minorities or suffer from poor health – have the greatest exposure to cumulative risk for absenteeism. More information can be found in the report Present, Engaged, and Accounted For.
achievement gap The tendency for children living below the poverty line to develop at a slower rate than their wealthier counterparts, due to developmental risk factors associated with poverty. At age 4, children who live below the poverty line ($22,050 for a family of four in 2009) are 18 months below the developmental norm for their age group, and by age 10, that gap is still evident.
adolescence The period during which children develop into adults, generally understood to be age 12 to through 18.
adolescent A person between the ages of 12 and 18.
after care Services and programs offered to youth transitioning out of foster care or the juvenile justice system to improve outcomes for these youth.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), also known as the Stimulus bill, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009. The Act of Congress was based largely on proposals made by President Barack Obama and was intended to provide a stimulus to the U.S. economy in the wake of the economic downturn. The measures are nominally worth $787 billion. The Act includes federal tax cuts, expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions, and domestic spending in education, health care, and infrastructure, including the energy sector. The Act also includes numerous non-economic recovery related items that were either part of longer-term plans (e.g. a study of the effectiveness of medical treatments) or desired by Congress (e.g. a limitation on executive compensation in federally aided banks added by Senator Dodd and Rep. Frank). The government action is much larger than the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which consisted primarily of tax rebate checks.
ARRA American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
behavioral health Within a public health and health/medical frameworks, the reciprocal relationship between human behavior, individually or socially, and the well-being of the body, mind, and spirit, whether the later are considered individually or as an integrated whole.
benefit cliff A sharp drop in family resources that occurs when a small increase in earnings leads to a substantial and disproportionate loss of public benefits, due to policy that deems recipients ineligible for benefits prematurely. Because of benefits cliffs, small raises can mean that families are even worse off, despite increased earnings.
CAPTA Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) The federal agency which administers Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) subsidies Subsidies that assist low-income families with the cost of child care so that they are able to work. Assistance is provided in the form of either a contracted child care slot or a voucher that may be used to access care by any provider that meets state requirements. CCDF subsidies are not a federal entitlement, meaning that eligible applicants do not necessarily receive subsidies. CCDF subsidies are funded through a combination of state and federal sources. The federal CCDF block grant was created with the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. CCDF provides states with an annual base amount as well as matching funds for states that meet their maintenance of effort and matching requirements. States may transfer money into CCDF programs from TANF and other sources. Many states also provide additional child care subsidies outside of their CCDF subsidy programs. The federal government establishes broad requirements for state CCDF programs, but states maintain a wide degree of discretion to design their programs, and program rules vary greatly. More information on CCDF subsidies is available at NCCP's CCDF state profile.
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Formerly the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), CHIP is the program administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to provide matching funds to states for health insurance to families with children. The program was designed with the intent to cover uninsured children in families with incomes that are modest but too high to qualify for Medicaid.
chronic absenteeism In U.S. education and child development contexts, missing 18 or more days of school in a given school year. Lack of health insurance and regular medical checkups leading to frequent and/or chronic illness, lack of adequate transportation, households with multiple risk factors, and parents' mental and physical health may all have an impact on children's absenteeism. In general, the most vulnerable children – that is, those who are poor or racial/ethnic minorities or suffer from poor health – have the greatest exposure to cumulative risk for absenteeism. More information can be found in the report Present, Engaged, and Accounted For.
CMS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. The federal agency which administers Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
CSAP Center for Substance Abuse and Prevention.
CSAT Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
CSHCN Children with Special Health Care Needs.
cultural competence, cultural competency Cultural competence is a developmental process that evolves over an extended period. Both individuals and organizations are at various levels of awareness, knowledge and skills along the cultural competence continuum. Cultural competence requires that organizations: have a defined set of values and principles, and demonstrate behaviors, attitudes, policies and structures that enable them to work effectively cross-culturally; have the capacity to (1) value diversity, (2) conduct self-assessment, (3) manage the dynamics of difference, (4) acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge and (5) adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of the communities they serve; and incorporate the above in all aspects of policy making, administration, practice, service delivery and involve systematically consumers, key stakeholders and communities.
Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) A set of policy changes related to Medicaid. In 2006, Congress enacted the DRA of 2005, whose centerpiece was to restore "integrity" to the Medicaid program by redefining how and which services are financed.
DHHS Department of Health and Human Services.
DSM IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, Volume IV, the Standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States.

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