The Foster Care Advocacy and Support Team (FAST) Program

Foster Care Queensland (FCQ) receives funding from the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services to provide advocacy and support to Foster and Kinship Carers. The demand for assistance has rapidly increased over the past few years as knowledge of the organisation and its services have become better known through the alternative care sector.

To provide greater levels of support and advocacy for foster and kinship carers and in keeping with the results of a national survey which indicated that foster carers would prefer to be supported by foster carer peak bodies and other foster carers, FCQ established the Foster care Advocacy and Support Team (FAST) in early 2002.

What is FAST?

FAST is a team of trained specialist local Foster and Kinship Carers who have volunteered to provide advice, support and advocate on behalf of other Foster and Kinship Carers.

FAST representatives are attached to one of seven Regions across Queensland. They have the capacity to provide advice, support and advocacy to all carers in their Region and can also provide face to face support to carers within proximity or tele link into meetings where needed. The FAST representative provides a local avenue for Foster and Kinship Carers to receive advice, support and/or advocacy on individual matters.

How were the FAST representatives appointed? 

Any carer is able to approach FCQ to become a FAST representative. Interested carers receive an application with a Selection Criteria and a Position description. Once the application is received, FCQ seeks feedback from key stakeholders in the relevant Region. An interview Panel then takes place with the applicant to explore applicant’s views on the role, what they hope to offer and other relevant areas. The applicant is then invited to attend two days of Induction training and then a final recommendation is made taking into account all of this information to FCQ’s Executive Director.

Who supports the FAST representatives? 

Careful consideration has been made to the developmental and support needs of the FAST representatives.

Training - Ten modules of in-depth information and skills training have been written to consolidate and extend on the current skills and knowledge of all FAST representatives.

Co-ordination - An experienced co-ordinator is available to debrief FAST representatives as required, provide advice and assistance and take on more complex cases referred by the FAST representative. Regular tele link arrangements and email groups have been established to enable to support and contact among representatives. FAST representatives receive individual support through their Support worker from FCQ.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where can I find out more about what a FAST Representative does?

If you’d like to access more information about what it takes to be a FAST Representative, please contact our Head Office in Banyo on (07) 3256 6166 or our Townsville Office on (07) 4779 9513 and one of our experienced staff members will provide you with a position description.

How do I apply?

If you’ve considered the position description and meet the criteria, a nomination form will usually accompany your position description. This can be used to express your interest in becoming a FAST Representative. At this stage you can use the following means to send the application to us:

  • E-mail your application to - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Fax it to - (07) 3256 6037
  • Mail it to - Foster Care Queensland Inc, Unit 2 / 25 Depot Street, Banyo, QLD, 4014

What else is offered?

As a FAST Representative, you have a great opportunity to network in your community to build strong and productive working relationships with key stakeholders. Every year our FAST Representatives are provided with regional FAST training over a 2-day period with workshops and personal development opportunities.

FCQ meets the costs associated with transport, accommodation, and some meal expenses that directly relate to the event. FAST Representatives also receive free registration to our annual QLD Foster and Kinship Care Conference. Please contact Foster Care Queensland for specific concessions you would be eligible for as a FAST Representative.

How much time do I need to allocate? 

When considering making an application to be a FAST Representative you must consider the time you have available to commit to the role.  

FAST Representatives are often called upon to attend meetings and to participate in Carer training. It is important that you consider your obligation regarding time already committed to being a family who Foster as well as committing time to other foster and kinship carers.

Click here to find your FAST Representative