(Photo by Monica D. Spencer)

Foster care program in need of volunteers

The Foster Care Review Board is looking for student volunteers for their program that helps evaluate the living conditions of foster children in Arizona.

The FCRB is a part of the Dependent Children’s Services Division of the Arizona Supreme Court, which ensures that these children are receiving proper care.

Giola Kaid, the Marketing, Recruitment, and Retention specialist for the FCRB, reached out in order to spread awareness of the program and noted just how many people work with this program.

The process of reviewing foster homes is simple, according to Kaid. 

Kaid stated, “The Foster Care Review Board volunteers commit to meeting one weekday per month to review the cases of children who are in out of home care. The meetings are completed via video conference.”

These meetings include talking to the children, the foster parents, and anyone else involved with the child’s situation about how things are going and if they’re being treated properly.

 Each Board reviews its assigned cases until permanency is achieved, which is when foster children are able to decide whether or not their foster home becomes their “forever home.” 

“In Maricopa County, the FCRB facilitates 56 boards which are each comprised of 5 citizens from the community,” Kaid explained. “We have an urgent need to fill vacancies in the county.”

Maricopa County alone requires a large number of volunteers. 

According to the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Arizona , a program similar to the FCRB, around 12,456 children are in out-of-home care, with over 40% of them being between one to five years old.

Another startling figure is that in just a six-month period, “[the] Child Abuse Hotline received 21,919 calls that met the statutory critera for a DCS report,” according to CASA.

There is a clear need to ensure that foster children are placed in homes that are both safe and caring enough for them, and with the FCRB, that task is easier to accomplish.

However, if they do not have enough volunteers, these boards will struggle to ensure that these foster children get the attention they need, in case a certain foster home isn’t adequate for them.

Those interested in helping only have a few requirements. They must be able to work one weekday per month, be over the age of 21, and be able to pass a fingerprint background check.

If those are met, it is encouraged to request an application by going to www.AZFCRB.org. Along with that, it is also encouraged to check out CASA’s own volunteer program at AZCASAVolunteer.org.

  • Keythin Thomas

    Keythin is a journalism major and is an avid sports fan. He has lived and breathed valley sports since he was in preschool. When not pouring over stat sheets or the latest sports, he enjoys watching movies, playing video games, and hanging out with friends and family.

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