August 28, 2017

Legal Aid of WV's FAST Program

Originally appeared in the August 2017 LAWV e-newsletter

Family Advocacy, Support & Training (FAST) is a Legal Aid of West Virginia program that helps West Virginia children, from birth to age 21, who have a mental health, co-occuring or co-existing diagnosis, and who are struggling or experiencing discrimination in school or early learning programs because of these challenges.

Some of the ways FAST can help include:

  • Working with families and school officials to develop individual education plans (IEPs).
  • Facilitating discussions between schools and families about how to manage a child's problem behaviors in a way that is fair and designed to keep the child in public school.
  • Helping resolve legal concerns that directly impact a child's academic success, including problems with accessing appropriate education services, as well as issues of custody and adoption, and acquisition of benefits, transportation and housing.

More information about FAST can be found here.  

"I've worked for Legal Aid of West Virginia since 2008, and every day I get to find new ways to help serve adults and children struggling with mental or behavioral disorders.  This work is so gratifying - I can't imagine working in any other field."  - Jodie Gardill, Assistant Director and Supervising Attorney for Legal Aid's Behavioral Health and FAST programs.