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Capacity Building

CENTER FOR STATES

Buzzwords: Moving to Behavioral Descriptors

Explore a doodle video, tip sheet, and discussion guide to help recognize and correct negative, subjective language used in child welfare reporting.

The Buzzwords: Moving to Behavioral Descriptors doodle video, tip sheet, and discussion guide are designed to help child welfare staff and stakeholders learn to recognize negative, subjective language used in child welfare reporting and intervene with more objective information. These subjective words, or buzzwords, may perpetuate negative characterizations of individuals and families and adversely affect engagement and decision-making. Watch the doodle video and read the tip sheet to learn how to redirect negative, subjective language to more objective, behavior-based descriptors that provide greater clarity and context about the circumstances leading to a child welfare report or ongoing case documentation. Use the accompanying discussion guide to practice transforming buzzwords into more objective information and to develop skills for effective engagement and decision-making.

Buzzwords: Moving to Behavioral Descriptors

This short, animated video follows a child involved in a child welfare investigation. It 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.

Buzzwords: Moving to Behavioral Descriptors Tip Sheet

Buzzwords: Moving to Behavioral Descriptors Tip Sheet

Defines buzzwords, identifies commonly used buzzwords, highlights the negative impact of using buzzwords, and offers strategies to replace subjective language with objective, behavior-based descriptors.

Read Tip Sheet
Discussion Guide for Buzzwords

Discussion Guide for Buzzwords

This guide  is a training tool for child welfare caseworkers to put the strategies outlined in the doodle video and tip sheet into practice.

Read the guide

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