Your rights contain some words that might be new to you, or you might want to understand more about them. Here you can find a list of key words and definitions that can help you understand your rights better. If there are words or terms that you want to know about, and you don’t see it in the list, you can reach out to your social worker or probation officer, your lawyer, or the foster care ombudsperson.

AB 12

Assembly Bill (AB) 12, also called Extended Foster Care, is the law that allows young people between the ages of 18 and 21 to stay in foster care and continue receiving services and support, including financial and housing assistance. Youth interested in AB 12/Extended Foster Care or returning to Extended Foster Care should call the DCFS Child Protection Hotline at 800-540-4000 or contact the California Foster Care Ombudsperson at (877)-846-1602.


Sometimes called a resource family or foster parent, a person who has been approved to provide a home for and take care of youth who are in foster care. Caregivers are responsible for making sure that youth are healthy, safe, and have what they need. STRTP staff are also caregivers.

Case Plan

A written document prepared by a social worker/probation officer that describes the care and services to be provided to a youth who has been placed in foster care. It must include: a description of the placement, a plan for providing the youth with safe and proper care, a plan for services that will be provided, along with a timeline, and other issues relating to health, safety, and well-being.

Chemical Substances

Chemical Substances are sometimes called medicine, psychotropic meds, or drugs. They include medicines that a doctor has given you or those that you can buy at a store. Illegal drugs are also called chemical substances.

Child and Family Team (CFT)

A group of people, which may include extended family members and members of the youth’s community and/or tribe and other people identified by the youth, who come together to talk and make decisions about case planning and placement that will best support success of the family, and positive outcome for the youth’s safety, permanence, and well-being.

Child Welfare System

The group of government agencies and juvenile courts that (1) take and investigate reports of possible child abuse and neglect; (2) provide services to ensure safety and care of youth and to support their families; (3) arrange for youth to live with relatives, non-relative extended family members, or foster families when they are not safe at home; and (4) arrange for reunification, adoption, or other permanent connections for children leaving foster care. The Los Angeles County child welfare system also includes non-government agencies that provide services to youth and their families.

Community Care Licensing Division (CCL)

A state agency that gives licenses to people and facilities/organizations to provide homes and ongoing care to foster youth. CCL is responsible for investigating complaints about the care or conditions where foster children live.

Community Treatment Facilities (CTF)

A locked facility where youth live when they need specialized mental health services to keep them safe.


Options to prevent pregnancy and some sexually transmitted infections, such as condoms and birth control pills, patches, or shots.

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

Volunteers appointed by the judge to meet regularly with a youth who is in foster care and to advocate for their wishes and what is best for a youth.
A CASA can: (1) advocate or speak up for the youth, (2) investigate or look into problems that the youth is having, (4) report or speak to the judge for the youth, and (5) recommend or ask the judge to make orders that will help the youth.