Buzzwords: Moving to Behavioral Descriptors Video

Buzzwords: Moving to Behavioral Descriptors doodle video is a short, animated video that follows a child involved in a child welfare investigation. The video describes what buzzwords are and illustrates the impact they can have on children and families. It also demonstrates how to recognize buzzwords and offers strategies for transforming buzzwords into objective, behavior-based descriptors.

Publication year: 2017
Capacity Building Center for States

Standard Video

ADA Compliant Video


Highlights the impact of negative, subjective language in child welfare reporting and documentation, including the effects of unintended biases that can adversely affect assessment, decision-making, and engagement and lead to inappropriate labeling, disproportionality, inadequate services, and other negative effects. This video promotes using more objective language when reporting and recording information from the first intake call throughout the life of the case and offers tips and strategies to translate commonly used subjective language in child welfare into behavior-based descriptions that can lead to more informed assessment and decision-making, improve targeted service delivery, alleviate unintended biases, and promote better outcomes overall for children and families.


Suggested Citation

Capacity Building Center for States (2021). Buzzwords: Moving to Behavioral Descriptors Video. Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Capacity Building Center for States.

Connect With Us

Sign Up for News and Updates

Learn how we can help your agency build the capacity to thrive.

Phone: 1.844.222.0272

Visit the Center for States' Contact Us webpage for more information.