Participants who are required to be invited and/or participate:
- Individuals who must be invited to Family Support Team meetings include:
- All parents,
- Youth age 12 and older,
- 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).
- Up to two youth identified advocates/advisors if the youth desires, beginning at age 12.
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/PPRT 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. The parents, the legal counsel for them and the resource providers may request that other individuals, other than alleged perpetrators, be permitted to attend such meetings.
- A youth age 12 or over must be invited to attend each FST/PPRT given the opportunity to participate in the development of his/her case plan, and consulted in any revision to the plan. The expectation is that youth age 12 and over will attend their FST/PPRT unless the worker and the supervisor agree that there is a valid reason why the youth cannot attend. The meetings should be held at a time that is convenient for the youth and family. Scheduling a meeting during school hours would not be considered convenient for the youth. In addition, Section 167.019 RSMo states that students may not be penalized for absences resulting from required court hearings or court-related activities, including FSTs.
- With the approval of the immediate supervisor, a child under the age of 12 may participate in the FST/PPRT. The child is considered “age appropriate” if he/she is able to understand the circumstances and implications of his out-of-home care status.
- Youth have the right to choose up to two people to be part of their Permanency Planning Team/Family Support Team, if the youth desires. This option will need to be explained to each youth age 12 and older and discussed on-going as a right of the youth. These individuals are not the youth’s Children’s Service Worker or out-of-home care provider. One of these individuals selected by the youth as a member of the Permanency Planning Team/Family Support Team may be designated to be the youth’s advocate and as necessary, advocate, in applying the federal and state law with respect to the reasonable and prudent parent standard and normal activities. The advocate is part of the youth’s team and can advocate on behalf of that youth to assure the youth can participate in this age and developmentally appropriate activity, and then team members will need to consider the reasonable and prudent parent standard and its application to the situation being advocated.
- Also per federal and state law, Children’s Division has the right to reject an individual selected by the youth to be a member of the case planning team at any time if there is good cause to believe the advocate or advisor would not act in the youth’s best interests. If this situation should arise, the youth should be consulted and given the opportunity to fully understand the reason for rejection and the opportunity to select another individual prior to the case planning meeting. Documentation of selection and rejections should occur in the case narrative. Youth advocates and advisors should be documented as case members in FACES , on the CS-1 and Adolescent FST Guide (CD94).
- Sometimes it is difficult for youth in care to identify who might be a support for them. To assist with this process and to make sure youth are fully educated on the role that the advocate or advisor, information should be explained and shared with the youth regarding the selection of this individual. The Permanency Pact should be used to assist with identification of youth advocates/advisors.
- 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 CS-1 instructions in place.
- An objective third party reviewer is not required at FST meetings, but is required to be invited to, and participate in each PPRT meeting. The third party reviewer is someone who is not responsible for the case management of, or the delivery of services to the child or the parents.
A third party reviewer may be Children’s Division staff, if the individual is not responsible for and does not have knowledge of the case. The desired preference of the Children’s Division is to utilize outside stakeholders, to the best extent possible, as third-party participants.
Related Subject: Section 4 Chapter 7.2 Thirty-Day Family Support Team Meeting/First Thirty-Day Permanency Planning Review Team Meeting
Once a person is provided notice of a FST/PPRT meeting, CD shall provide notice of subsequent meetings. The letter of notification to all other team members and age appropriate youth must also include a copy of the CS-1 to be submitted at the FST/PPRT.
Chapter Memoranda History: (prior to 1/31/07)