Section 4, Chapter 7 (Family Support Teams) – Overview

Effective Date:  7-2-2021


This Chapter contains the following subsections

7.1 – Types of Family Support Team Meetings

7.2 – Composition of Family Support Teams

7.3 – Family Support Team Meeting Agendas

7.4 – Lack of Consensus at Family Support Team (FST) Meetings

Family Support Team Meetings
Research suggests that when families are engaged, supported, and play a significant role in case planning, they are more motivated to achieve their case plan. A Family Support Team meeting is a vehicle for family engagement. The Family Support Team Discussion Guide is provided as a guide for possible topics during a FST meeting.

Family Support Team (FST) meetings are held within 72 hours and again at 30 days from the date of the initial placement in order to manage initial placement and visitation activities and to establish a case plan, through development of the Social Service Plan. Required FSTs are to be held at 60 and 90 days from case opening.  Subsequent FST meetings are then to be held every thirty days until court adjudication. FSTs are also required to be held at six months from case opening and every six months thereafter.  In addition, placement FSTs are to be held prior to placement moves.

The typical flow of meetings for a case may look like this:

  • 72 hour meeting (preliminary plan and concurrent plan established)
  • 30-day FST meeting (permanency plan and concurrent plan established)
  • 60-day FST meeting (review of case progress)
  • 90-day FST meeting (review of case progress)
  • 6-month FST meeting (review of the case plan; possible change of plan)
  • 12-month FST meeting (review of the case plan; possible change of plan)
  • 18-month FST meeting (review of the case plan; possible change of plan)

For children in Legal Status 3 (Supervision Only), FST meetings should be held every 30 days until the FST members agree to hold them less often. Thereafter, the FST meetings for children in Legal Status 3 shall be held at a minimum of every six months.

All parents must be invited to the FSTs and be given the opportunity to participate.

FSTs should be held in order to make key decisions and for the purpose of determining:

  • The safety of the child
  • Comprehensive visitation plan for parents, siblings and family members
  • Service and treatment needs
  • The need for placement and developing a plan for reunification or other permanency options, including a projected date for permanency
  • The appropriate placement of the child
  • The child’s access and opportunities for normalcy activities based on the reasonable and prudent parenting standard
  • Educational Plan for the child
  • Establishing and revising the case plan
  • Assessment of compliance with the case plan and progress towards alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care

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

Related Memos and Practice Alerts

6-8-20 – PA20-CM-02 – Revised Family Support Team Meeting Forms