Two People TalkingBuzzwords are words or phrases that seemingly are very meaningful but in truth are open to great interpretation. While politicians are probably best known for their overuse of buzzwords, legislators, courts, attorneys and policymakers must also plead guilty. In the world of child welfare law, three of the best-known culprits are “best interest of the child,” “neglect,” and “Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD).”

Depending on the situation, “best interest of the child” usually refers to taking into account a number of factors. To name just a few:

  • The child’s current housing arrangement;
  • The presence or availability of drugs and alcohol;
  • The mental stability of the child’s caretakers;
  • Whether there is a history of domestic or child abuse;
  • The financial stability of the caretakers;
  • The caretakers’ plans for the child now and in the future;
  • The unique health, mental health and education needs of the child.

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