The Foster Care Review Board seeks volunteers to fill open positions in Yavapai County
The Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) is seeking volunteers to advocate for children in Arizona’s foster care system.
Statewide, 500 dedicated volunteer board members sit on 108 boards for the FCRB, a program within the Dependent Children’s Services Division of the Arizona Supreme Court.
Yavapai County has three boards, each with openings for five volunteer community members. The Presiding Judge of Yavapai County’s Juvenile Court appoints board members, and there is currently an urgent need to fill local vacancies.
FCRB volunteers commit to monthly meetings, by video conference, to review the cases of children who are in out-of-home care. Members of each board review their assigned cases until permanency is achieved. As children return home, are adopted, have guardianship granted or age out of the system, new cases are added to the board’s review day. The Board makes recommendations to the Juvenile Court and interested parties involved in the case.
Currently, boards in Yavapai County are reviewing the cases of about 265 children. Volunteers receive the training they need to serve.
In preparation for a board meeting, volunteers receive court documents and other case materials via a secured website about 10 days before the review date. This gives board members time to prepare questions to clarify with and gather information from the attending interested parties (case managers, attorneys, parents, foster parents, counselors, licensing workers, Court Appointed Special Advocates, etc.).
On the day of the review, an FCRB staff member (program specialist) facilitates the case reviews. Interested parties for each case have an opportunity to appear before the board and speak about their concerns, successes, wants and needs. The board asks questions and considers all information available before making recommendations. The program specialist prepares a written report which includes the board’s recommendations and statements given by the interested parties. The report is distributed to the Juvenile Court and all case participants.
Volunteers must be at least 21 and pass a fingerprint background check. Request an application by going to the FCRB website at: www.AZFCRB.org, by calling 602.452.3400, or by emailing RPTFCRB@courts.az.gov.
Another way to get involved is a program with similar requirements called Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), in which volunteers are appointed by the court to advocate for a specific child with whom they are paired. To learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer visit, www.AZCASAVolunteer.org.