The role of a police Family Liaison Officer is vital and extremely challenging.
The extensive information in the below links has been prepared by Brake with the help of police officers experienced in supporting families bereaved by road crashes.
This e-training manual is an invaluable tool for new FLOs, existing FLOs, their trainers and managers, and anyone wishing to develop their understanding of the role of FLOs.
It is not an alternative to official guidance or training delivered by the police to FLOs, but can be a valuable additional learning tool, emphasising the perspective of the victim.
Section 1 - Providing effective emotional support within the confines of the FLO role
An important first step as an FLO is to gain an advanced understanding of what it is like to be bereaved by a road crash, which is a personal disaster with devastating consequences for families, and how you can provide appropriate emotional support within the confines of your role. This section aims to help you to do that.
A collection of stories of 'what happened to me', written by people bereaved on the road
Watch online interviews with road crash victims
Interviews with bereaved parents: ideal for training courses for new FLOs, or as a refresher for existing FLOs
Traumatic Grief: Control Measures, Outcomes, and Treatments
Including appropriate emotional support within the FLO role, development of clinical conditions, and signposting for specialist support
Road crash injuries - the shocking truth
Information about types of injuries to help you better work with these families
Supporting families with children
How to effectively use Brake's children's book Someone has died in a road crash
Faith issues following a death on the road
Faith issues surrounding death in a multi-cultural society - advice for FLOs
Section 2 - The FLO as a practical source of help
There are many practical functions that an FLO can undertake within their remit as a police officer. Guidance on some of the most sensitive elements are included within this section.
Breaking the bad news
How you break the bad news to a family is remembered forever.
How to hand out and use the Brake support guides
This may sound a simple task, but it's important to do it properly
Talking about organ or tissue donation
If you deliver a death 'NOK' at a bereaved person's home, you can raise this sensitive topic in an appropriate manner
Viewing and identifying the body
One of the most traumatic moment for many families. How you support them to do this can make a difference
Visiting the scene of the crash
Help the police can provide, and issues you should consider
Return of belongings to families; sensitivity issues relating to this important task
How Brake can help the police and families achieve effective memorials to their loved ones
Dealing with the media can be hard. FLOs are well-positioned to help.
Families releasing photos
of road crash victims to the media
Post mortem examinations
Family concerns regarding PMEs and issues surrounding them
Inquests, Fatal Accident Inquiries and Criminal Prosecutions
including support in court
Section 3 - Professional standards and boundaries for FLOs
Police officers should work to clear professional standards and boundaries within the FLO role. This section aims to help you understand standards and boundaries, and work with your management to develop and maintain standards and boundaries.
Introduction to standards of care from NPCC and other official agencies
It is vital that you are up to date on the latest official guidance relating to the FLO role.
Family contacts, managing expectations and exit strategies
It is vital that a family understand what you can provide, what you can't, and when you will leave, so they don't feel let down, and you don't 'burn out'
Section 4 - The FLO as signposter to national and local agencies
Liaising with charities
Providing emotional and practical support
and the enormous help they can provide families - and how FLOs can help access an appropriate personal injury solicitor
Section 5 - Coordinating FLOs: guidance for managers
of FLO coordinators and selection and training of FLOs
Their vital role in maintaining a clear record for monitoring purposes