CHILD WELFARE MANUAL

Section 4, Chapter 7 (Family Support Teams), Subsection 2 – Composition of Family Support Teams

Effective Date:  5-1-19

 

Composition of the Family Support Team

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

  • Youth age 12 and older
  • Parents
  • Legal counsel for the parents
  • Resource providers
  • Legal guardian for the child
  • Juvenile officer
  • The Guardian ad Litem (GAL)
  • The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
  • Up to two (2) youth-chosen advisors advocate (for youth 12 and over) on behalf of the youth in regard to application of the reasonable and prudent parenting standard.
  • Individuals invited by the parents

A child under the age of 12 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. All youth age 12 and over must be consulted and have input into their plan and any changes in the plan.

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). The parents, their legal counsel, and the resource providers may request that other individuals, other than alleged perpetrators, be permitted to attend such 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.

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 FACES.

Meetings should be scheduled at a time that is convenient for the family and children. Invitations to participants in the meeting should be given at least two weeks in advance, when possible.  Each FST should be documented clearly in FACES to explain the events, outcomes, and decisions made during the meeting.