The Citizen Foster Care Review Board in Daviess County, as well as surrounding counties, is always looking for members. The volunteer board allows community members to make a big impact in foster care cases.
Citizen Foster Care Review Boards (CFCRB) volunteers help ensure that children in foster care receive necessary services while in out-of-home care. Meeting at least once a month for about two hours, the board (along with professionals involved in the children’s legal proceedings) reviews cases to ensure children’s well-being while in care, as well as help, facilitate either family reunification or adoption.
Rosemary Conder, Director of Owensboro-Daviess County Court Appointed Special Advocates, serves as a CRCRB volunteer in Daviess County. Conder says being on the board is “very touching,” because it allows her and others on the board to see just how involved and engaged many foster parents are.
“It inspires me to do what I do every day,” Condor said. Conder encourages others to volunteer for the board. “What I see are people who have an interest in children,” she said, adding that while it does help to have some knowledge of terminology as far as legal matters or the foster care system, “It’s something anyone who cares about kids could do.”
According to the Kentucky Court of Justice webpage for the CRCRB, volunteers must complete an initial six-hour training course and consent to a criminal record and central registry check. Once the training is completed, a recommendation is made to the chief judge of the local District or Family Court, and the volunteer is officially appointed.
The Administrative Office of the Courts reports that in Fiscal Year 2017, volunteers conducted more than 20,000 reviews of more than 11,400 cases of children in foster and other out-of-home care. Conder says that in general, the board she is on (Daviess County actually has three CFRCB boards that take turns hearing cases) hears between four and seven cases a month.
Julie Gordon, Daviess County Family Court Judge, attests to the value of the board.
“By asking the tough questions of all parties involved in juvenile proceedings, truly listening — face to face — to the kids whose lives are affected, and thinking critically and creatively to find solutions, volunteers can have a positive impact on families for years to come,” Gordon said.