Creating and Operating a Family Assistance Center - A Toolkit for Public Health


Family Assistance Center Services

One of the primary objectives of a FAC is to provide information and assistance to families that are seeking news about their loved ones or awaiting reunification. After a mass-casualty or mass-fatality incident, families will arrive from different locations and under differing circumstances. Some will reside locally and arrive immediately on scene. Some will have been victims of the incident and may be injured or have lost resources. Some will have traveled from a distance, with or without all the necessary belongings. The goal of the FAC is to help ensure the family’s basic needs are met, while they are waiting for, or dealing with, information regarding their loved ones.

The following are primary services and activities that should always be available when operating a FAC:

  • Reception and registration
  • Family briefings
  • Victim Identification Services (antemortem data collection)
  • Behavioral Health Services (Mental Health and Spiritual Care)
  • Call center
  • Medical/First Aid services
  • Child care
  • Food services
  • Translation and interpreter services

Depending on the nature of the incident and impact to the families, there maybe other additional, secondary services needed.


Family Assistance Center Functions

Primary and Secondary Services