Deciphering the New NTSB Family Assistance Framework - A Game Changer in Crisis Response

Sunday, September 10, 2023

By Matt Walton, Vice President of the Americas, Kenyon International

In our interconnected world, where every second and every action counts, the ability to respond effectively in the aftermath of disasters is paramount. It’s with this understanding and urgency that the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has rolled out its new Family Assistance Framework (FAF). Having had the privilege to be at the forefront during its introduction, I wanted to share some insights into this transformative approach.

Why the Family Assistance Framework Matters

The FAF isn't just a document; it's a commitment to humanity. At its core, it focuses on the most pressing concerns families face post-aviation disasters:

  1. Notification of Involvement: A beacon of clarity when uncertainty clouds the air, ensuring families aren’t left in the dark about their loved ones.
  2. Victim Accounting: A compassionate approach to address heart-wrenching questions about the whereabouts of affected family members.
  3. Information and Resources: An avenue of support, guiding families to the right channels during their most vulnerable moments.
  4. Personal Effects: Respecting memories and preserving dignity by meticulously handling the belongings of the departed.

The introduction of Family Support Tasks (FSTs) is a testament to the meticulous planning and foresight of the NTSB. By delineating responsibilities between airlines and response agencies, the FAF ensures a streamlined and holistic approach to crisis management.

Diving Deeper into the Core Principles

At the heart of the FAF are the four pillars that are essential for families during crises. These principles not only guide the immediate response but also shape the long-term approach to healing and closure. They emphasize the importance of clear communication, empathy, and actionable support. By focusing on these core concerns, the FAF positions itself as a holistic blueprint for crisis management, ensuring that no family feels left behind or unsupported.

Kenyon's Path Forward

At Kenyon, we've always championed proactive and compassionate crisis response. The insights from the FAF resonate deeply with our ethos. We’re pleased to announce that we will be integrating the framework's methodologies into our training modules. Our Associate Responders, spread across the globe, will be equipped with this refreshed perspective, ensuring that our response remains both contemporary and empathetic.

The FAF is more than just a directive. It's a testament to our collective commitment to evolve, learn, and most importantly, to be there for families when they need us the most. At Kenyon, we're proud to be part of this journey and stand beside families with empathy and care, especially when they need it the most.

To find out more about the support we provide families affected by a crisis, including Family Assistance Centres (FAC), speak to our emergency planning experts at or +1 281 872 6074 / +44 1344 316 650.