FAST – Allegation Support

No matter what and when, The Foster Allegation Support Team is here for you! Call 800.327.8119 or email fast@floridafapa.org.

Looking for a future F.A.S.T. training — check the calendar … or email us.

Purpose

Our goal is to provide support to the foster, adoptive or kinship parents when allegations have been, or might be brought against them. It is important to keep them informed of the procedures and the process through which an allegation will take them.

FAST provides support without judgment and in an environment which is as nondestructive as possible for the foster parents and their families.

  • Call the F.A.S.T. hotline for immediate support.
  • Keep good records.
  • Insist on giving full input into the investigations.
  • Begin a dated, written journal of events and communications.
  • Request assistance from department, your licensing support staff or the case manage in explaining to the children what is happening and why.
  • Maintain your sense of professionalism and partnership as foster parents.
  • Cooperate with the investigation.

Working Together, we can make a difference!

Families accused of neglect and abuse experience the accusation of integrity as a form of assault or victimization. People who have been accused of abuse often experience the same types of symptoms as those who have actually been abused.

  • TRAUMA: Many foster parents express shock and disbelief.
  • BETRAYAL: They feel their main source of support can no longer talk to them.
  • STIGMA: Foster Parents report feeling shame, humiliation, inadequacy and a decline in self-esteem.
  • POWERLESSNESS: The process can be lengthy and complex and often feel they have little information regarding the allegation.

FAST

  • FAST supports foster, adoptive or relative parents through the pain and fear of the allegation, clarifies the process, provides clearer communication, helps the children avoid the trauma and helps retain foster homes.
  • FAST provides an immediate response as well as support to foster, adoptive and relative parents when an allegation has been, or might be, brought against them.
  • FAST volunteers will be there when any foster, adoptive or relative parent asks for help or support.
  • FAST volunteers keep you informed of the procedures and the processes a foster, relative or adoptive parent can expect during an investigation.
  • FAST volunteers work toward better investigations, more compassion, tolerance and respect for foster parents, children and families.
  • FAST volunteers have a firm commitment to maintain the confidentiality of the reports.
  • FAST volunteers support and help, which means listening to foster parents when they have a need to vent a sense of hurt, anger and shock at what has happened to them.
  • FAST volunteers never allow themselves to get involved in name calling, accusations, or other counterproductive behaviors which may cause foster parents to stray.
  • FAST volunteers help foster parents learn the concept of “fair fighting”. You must remember to treat the other side with absolute respect and insist on the same.
  • FAST volunteers help foster parents gain an attitude of honest and straightforward integrity which allows their point to be viewed.

Understanding Policies and Procedures

Acceptable and unacceptable discipline.

  • Provide consistent and realistic discipline and guidance that is age appropriate and does not involve corporal punishment.
  • Teach the child effective social interaction skills.
  • Teach the child how to respond in difficult situations.
  • Teach problem-solving skills.
  • Use effective praise techniques to encourage positive behavior.
  • Teach negotiation skills to the child.
  • Demonstrate these skills at all times of conflict between you and the child.
  • Teach the child effective time management and how to be responsible for their own lives.
  • Teach effective anger management skills.
  • Reinforce those taught by the agency.
  • Demonstrate these skills at all times of conflict.
  • Document behaviors effectively.
  • Procedure for investigations of abuse/neglect or unacceptable child care.
  • Rights of children in care.
  • What and when and how foster/shelter parents should advise the agency about a child’s allegation of abuse.
  • Legal liabilities and details regarding the departments coverage and payment of legal costs related to defense against an allegation of abuse neglect.

 

Click here for a FAST brochure.

Click here to view the DCF memo regarding foster care referrals and investigations (1/14/13).

Click here to view the training (PowerPoint) conducted by Community-Based Care organizations on the foster care referrals process.