Join the Foundation Support Team

Are you interested in helping to make a profound difference in the lives of people involved in a crisis or tragedy? If so, please review all of the information below so you can make an informed choice about joining the Foundation Support Team.
Note: Current employees of Foundation Corporate Members or Aviem clients may not join the Foundation Support Team as individuals.
Please contact Carolyn Coarsey at carolyn@higherresources.com if you have any questions!
Ready to help make a difference? Click here to apply!
What is the Foundation Support Team (FST)? 
The Foundation Support Team uses the Human Services Response™ (HSR™) model to assist people affected by a crisis or tragedy, usually involving a Foundation Member. This support may be provided either by telephone or face-to-face. Companies typically refer to this function as a "Care Team" or "Special Assistance Team."
What is Human Services Response™?
HSR is a practical, non-counseling approach through which Support Team members can identify the needs of survivors and/or family members and meet them in a caring and compassionate way. This non-clinical method has been proven through decades of research and real-world responses and can be used by anyone with HSR training. (Learn more about HSR here.) 
Do I need previous crisis response experience or special qualifications?
No. While such experience or qualifications may be very useful, they are not required. HSR may be used effectively by anyone with HSR training.
What are the characteristics shared by effective FST members?
The following attributes are essential in this role and are the best predictors for success:
Personal Characteristics
  • Empathic and compassionate by nature
  • Open and responsive to others’ needs and opinions
  • Approachable and comfortable in the presence of others
  • Flexible
  • Has integrity and can maintain strict confidentiality
  • Maintains a professional manner and appearance
  • Doesn't need to assert ego or impose beliefs on others
Skills and Abilities
  • Can function in stressful, highly emotional environments
  • Works well in a team environment; can follow or lead as necessary
  • Good listener
  • Well organized
  • Can plan and coordinate, and knows how to get things done
  • Doesn't need close supervision to be effective 
Is there training?
Yes. We usually hold training sessions several times each year, and each is announced in our newsletter (sign up here) and listed here on our website. (We do not offer initial HSR training online because the skills needed are best learned in a classroom environment.) There is no charge for the training itself. Attendees are responsible for their travel costs.
The training requirement may be waived for former Care Team/Special Assistance Team members who can document their attendance to an appropriate HSR-based course, for example with a previous employer. Please contact Dede Young at dede.young@fafonline.org to inquire about a training exemption.
What are the roles?
Foundation Support Team training provides the skills needed to fulfill these two roles:
 
  • Family Support Representative (FSR), assisting people by telephone from your home or from a Family Support Center (FSC) facility; or
  • Care Team Member (CTM), working with people face-to-face, usually as part of a team of two or more who are assigned to a specific family or facility (Family Assistance Center, hospital, etc.). This role usually involves travel.  
Typical tasks and functions for both roles include providing and updating information, making travel arrangements, helping people contact and reconnect with their loved ones, and acquiring items to replace lost or damaged personal belongings (clothing and other such essentials).
We also select team leaders from those Support Team Members who express interest and meet the necessary criteria.
Can I choose my role?
Usually yes, though every response is different and the functions needed will vary. You may or may not be asked to work directly with survivors or family members; some support roles involve administrative or logistical tasks instead. 
Once notified that a response is imminent or underway, you will have the opportunity to indicate:
  1. Whether you are available to respond; 
  2. The role you prefer; and
  3. When you can begin.
 
Will I be working on my own?
 
You will always be part of a larger team that communicates often, but whether someone is right there with you depends on your function and the circumstances of the event. For example:
  • As a Family Support Representative (FSR), you might provide telephone support from home, where there would not be other team members present, or from a Family Support Center (FSC), where there would be others working beside you.
  • As a Care Team Member, our practice is to assign at least two team members per survivor or family, so you would not be on your own. In rare cases, it may be necessary to assign one team member to a facility like a hospital. If that occurs, team members are informed and may decline or choose an alternative assignment.
You may also be teamed up with one or more people from the Foundation Member's team. In any case, we will not put you in a situation where you are uncomfortable.
Can I decline an assignment?
Yes. A notification gives you the opportunity to participate in a response. Whether you wish to do so is entirely up to you. In fact, we encourage team members to decline a potential assignment if they are not 100% certain they can fulfill their role.
How long is a typical response?
It depends on the situation. Your involvement may range from a little as one day to as long as two weeks depending on the circumstances. Three to seven days is typical for major events.
 
How are team members notified of a potential assignment?
We will collect the necessary information from you and add it to our Send Word Now (SWN) notification system. When an event occurs and we need responders, you will get a message via text, voice, and email. This alert typically includes a brief description of the situation, the number and type of responders we are seeking, and instructions for how to respond to the message based on your availability.
From there, we will keep you informed about what to do next. Since the number of available Support Team members may exceed the need, you may or may not be offered an assignment.
The Foundation deeply appreciates the kindness and generosity of our response partner Send Word Now.
Do I need a computer and mobile phone?
Yes. You do not need advanced skills by any means, but many tasks will require online work and we often communicate via voice, text, and email. We provide training on any specific applications used by team members in the course of a response.
Are Foundation Support Team Members compensated for their time?
Yes, Support Team Members are paid for their time when responding on behalf of an Aviem client or Foundation Member. We will inform team members of the amount per day at the time of the deployment. Travel, lodging, and meals related to the role are also covered along with reimbursement of relevant out-of-pocket expenses.

Important: Deployed Team Members are compensated as independent contractors and as such, the Foundation does not withhold taxes. To avoid any surprises at tax time, please ensure you understand the tax implications of this type of compensation.
Occasionally, extraordinary circumstances arise where responders are needed on an unpaid basis. In such cases, we will use the usual notification process and explain the situation. Each team member may then decide whether they wish to provide time on an unpaid basis. As with a paid response, travel and relevant out-of-pocket expenses related to the role will be covered.
What are a team member’s ongoing responsibilities? 
The responsibilities of a Foundation Support Team Member include:
  • Responding to activation notifications indicating whether or not you are available to respond;
  • Notifying Dede Young (dede.young@fafonline.org) of any changes to your personal contact information;
  • Participating in periodic Send Word Now notification drills (this is a quick, easy process that takes only a few minutes);
  • Completing recurrent training as assigned;
  • Responding to occasional emails or polls on relevant topics; and
  • Joining the FAF Support Team page on Facebook (optional).
What are some examples of Support Team deployments?
HSR-trained team members have responded to assist people involved in, or affected by:
  • Aviation, rail, marine, & highway emergencies & accidents

  • Natural disasters

  • Facility fires & explosions

  • Employee death or injury

  • Criminal acts

  • Tour emergencies & accidents

  • Business interruptions & disruptions

  • Cruise ship emergencies & accidents

  • Shore excursion emergencies & accidents

  • Oil/Gas fires & explosions

  • Energy exploration accidents

  • Piracy, hijackings, & kidnappings

  • Mass evacuations

  • Pandemics

  • Civil unrest

  • Terrorist attacks

Can I really make a difference? 
Yes! Please watch this 90-second video to hear survivors and family members talk about what it meant to them to have support based upon the HSR™ model.