When is the Child's Case No Longer Reviewed?
The child's case no longer requires a review when the child: Is successfully returned to live with the parents. Is adopted. Has reached the age of 18 or when the court relieves the FCRB of the responsibility or dismisses the case.
Who Receives the Board's Recommendations?
The FCRB Reports and Recommendations are sent to the juvenile court judge. Copies of the report are also sent to the parents, the foster parents, counselors, attorneys, the supervising agency, and other appropriate interested parties. The juvenile court judge will review the report and take into consideration the recommendations at the time of the next court hearing on the case. The FCRB makes recommendations, the boards do not issue orders.
What is the make up of the local boards?
There are five volunteer members on each board, with a chair and vice chair designated. A staff person facilitates each board. There must be three board members present to have a quorum. Two board members are permitted in situations, with specific approval, where postponement of the case would cause undue hardship for the interested parties or delays in court proceedings. Under no circumstances can a review take place with less than two board members. A member of a local review board may serve as substitute member on any local review board.
The FCRB and the judge are required to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that each board represents the socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic groups of the county in which it serves.
What qualifications or training must the board members obtain?
No specific background or qualifications are required to become a board member; this is truly a citizens review process. The FCRB and judge though are required to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that each board represents the socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic groups of the county in which it serves.
Each board member is required to attend a one day orientation training shortly after appointment, as well as attend ongoing training annually, to prepare and enhance their skills to fulfill their role as a board member.
Do board members attend juvenile court hearings?
Board members do not regularly attend court hearings concerning the cases of children they review. On occasion though a board representative or staff person may attend a court hearing. It is important for board members or staff attending the court hearing to present the consensus opinion of the board members.
Do judges take into account the recommendations made by the FCRB?
Judges from across the state support the citizen input and review of children's cases by the FCRB. In 1998, as part of its annual report, the FCRB asked 29 judges and commissioners across the state whether "citizen reviews" should be replaced with some other review procedure and all said "no." A majority of these same judges and commissioners estimated that they honor FCRB recommendations more than fifty percent of the time.
What types of issues does the FCRB look at during the review?
The FCRB is mandated to make determinations in four key areas:
safety, necessity and appropriateness of placement; case plan compliance; progress toward mitigating the need for foster care; and a likely target date by which the child may be returned home or placed for adoption or permanent guardianship. The FCRB is always concerned with what is in the best interests of the child(ren) involved in the case. The FCRB also assesses whether "reasonable efforts" leading to permanency, are being made by the supervising child welfare agency, mainly Child Protective Services.
What if I Disagree With the Board's Recommendations?
Be sure to attend any court hearings concerning the child, contact your attorney, and make your opinions known.
Why Should I Come to a Review Board Meeting?
This is your chance to talk with the board about your needs and concerns.
The board wants to hear how you feel, how you view the situation, and what you hope for the future.
If you feel that you cannot express yourself well in English, please tell us in advance and we will try to arrange for someone to interpret for you.
If you cannot attend the meeting, please call the FCRB office before the review. Someone can take a statement from you that will be shared at the time of the review meeting. You are also welcome to send in written comments before the scheduled review. We want to give everyone the opportunity to be heard.