7.2.1 Composition of the Family Support Team

Individuals who must be invited to Family Support Team (FST) meetings include:

  • Youth age 13 and older,
  • Parents,
  • Legal counsel for the parents,
  • Resource providers,
  • Legal guardian for the child,
  • Juvenile officer,
  • The Guardian ad Litem (GAL), and
  • The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).
  • Two (2) youth-chosen advisors one to advocate (for youth 13 and over) on behalf of the youth in regard to application of the reasonable and prudent parenting standard.

A child under the age of 13 may participate in the FST with approval of the supervisor. Individuals that may be invited include youth supports and Chafee Foster Care Independence Program staff. The youth may choose two advocates to attend the FST meeting with them.  The FST may limit these persons based on the child’s safety and well being.  If the FST chooses to not allow one or more of the child’s chosen advocates to attend the meeting, the FST must inform the child as to why prior to the meeting. These persons shall be provided adequate notice of the meeting prior to the scheduled date of the meeting. Upon appointment by the court to a case, the GAL is to be informed of and have the right to attend any and all FST meetings involving the child. Family members, other than alleged perpetrator, or other community formal or informal service providers may be invited at the discretion of the family.

CD will also notify and invite designated Probation and Parole staff to FST meetings when agreed to by the family or where necessary for the case and treatment of the child(ren), not withstanding the family’s failure to agree. The parents, their legal counsel, and the resource providers may request that other individuals, other than alleged perpetrators, be permitted to attend such meetings. Once a person is provided notice of a meeting, the CD or the conveyor of the meeting shall provide notice of subsequent meetings.

Families may determine whether individuals invited at their discretion shall continue to be invited.

Supervisors are not required to attend FST Meetings. However, they should attend the FST when supervisor support, guidance, and/or approval are needed, particularly during critical decision making points.

Supervisors should attend FST with new workers until the worker demonstrates proficiency in the facilitation of the FST. Subsequent, attendance and observations of the FST by the supervisor should occur at least once prior to the revision of the worker’s Professional Development Plan. The supervisor should provide support and feedback to the Children’s Service Worker regarding the facilitation and the quality of the FST. The observation of the worker at the FST provides the supervisor an opportunity to observe how the worker interacts with the family and other community partners and identifies areas for professional growth.

Staff may consider including their Children’s Service Specialist in the decision-making process when appropriate. Participants involved in the decision-making process should be clearly identified and documented in the case record pursuant to the Child Assessment and Service Plan, CS-1 instructions in place.

The Children’s Service Worker should ensure that accommodations are made for special needs of Family Support Team members (i.e., English as second language/sign language interpreters, accessibility for physical disability or handicap).

Chapter Memoranda History: (prior to 1/31/07)

Memoranda History: