It’s All About Kids

Foster Allegations Support Team

This program is accessible to foster, former foster and kinship parents throughout Alberta.

1. What is the Foster Allegations Support Team?

The Alberta Foster Parent Association (AFPA) formed the Foster Allegations Support Team (F.A.S.T.) in 1990 to help foster parents and their families cope with the turmoil and confusion that results when an allegation of neglect, physical, sexual or emotional abuse is made.

F.A.S.T. and the work it does is endorsed by the Alberta Foster Parent Association and Alberta Children’s Services.

F.A.S.T. members are foster parents who have special training and knowledge about the process foster parents become involved in when an allegation is made against them. F.A.S.T. members support foster parents and their families and ensure that no one who requests their assistance goes through this process alone.

2. Who are the F.A.S.T. members?

F.A.S.T. members are approved volunteer AFPA foster parents who report to the chairperson of the F.A.S.T. When team members are not directly involved with an allegation against a foster family, they advocate for foster parents,promote measures that will prevent allegations from arising, educate foster parents about child welfare complaints or abuse and neglect and keep statistics about the numbers and kinds of allegations that have been made in Alberta.

They are familiar with foster care policies, all kinds of investigations and the procedures that investigators will follow. They are committed to helping you work with investigators by providing support, clarifying issues and ensuring that you get all the information about your investigation and its results in a reasonable length of time. They are recognized as dependable liaisons between social workers and foster parents and are sworn to protect your privacy (See Question 6: What About Confidentiality?)

3. Who do you call?

Team members are active throughout the province. If you are in need of the assistance of a F.A.S.T. member please contact the Alberta Foster Parent Association:

9750 – 35th Avenue
Edmonton, AB T6E 6J6

  • Telephone: 780-429-9923
  • Toll Free: 800-667-2372
  • Fax: 780-426-7151

F.A.S.T. numbers are also listed in the association newsletter, The Bridge.

4. How can the F.A.S.T. help you when an allegation has been made?

F.A.S.T. members can:

  • help you understand what will happen
  • Help ensure the investigation is fair and conducted with as little disruption to your family as possible.
  • Help you present your situation in an investigation.
  • Provide support without judgment.
  • Help keep the lines of communication open between you, your social workers, the investigators and other interested parties.
  • Tell you about your options, help that is available and your rights to such things as having a lawyer present, and your right to appeal.
  • Support you and your family emotionally.
  • Work through the process with you to help ensure that foster children continue to be placed in your home if the allegation is unfounded or overturned at appeal.

5. Are all investigations of abuse or neglect the same?

There are different procedures and outcomes for different kinds of investigations and different people may be involved.

Internal investigations are conducted by Alberta Children’s Services. External investigations are handled by the police/RCMP. F.A.S.T. members have experience with both kinds of investigations and can provide support and advice to foster parents and their families in either situation. F.A.S.T. members treat everyone who has had an allegation made against them in a caring and personalized manner.

6. What about confidentiality?

F.A.S.T. members sign an oath of confidentiality and will keep anything you tell them about your situation private. Your case will not be discussed with your district association of the AFPA. Team members will not ask you to disclose guilt or innocence as they can be subpoenaed to testify in court.

7. Who can use the F.A.S.T.?

Any foster parent, former foster parent or kinship parent of Alberta can access the F.A.S.T. and its services.

8. Need more information?

The mere allegation of being an abuser can have a devastating affect on someone for the rest of his or her life. Do not allow a situation to reach the point of being an official allegation. Call a F.A.S.T. representative today. If you know someone who would benefit from this information send them our web site address, www.afpaonline.com.

If you are interested in becoming a F.A.S.T representative, please contact our office at 780-429-9923 or 1-800-667-2372.