Foster Care Review Board
Interesting Facts

History of the FCRB
The legislature established the Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) in 1978 in response to concerns that Arizona's foster children were being "lost" in out-of-home care and staying too long in temporary placements. This legislation was introduced by then-State Senator Jim Kolbe, and was signed into law by Governor Bruce Babbitt on September 4, 1978.

The primary role of FCRB is to advise the juvenile court on progress toward achieving a permanent home for a child involved in a dependency action and in an out-of-home placement.

Through the existence of the FCRB, Arizona meets federal requirements of Public Law (PL) 96-272, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act. According to this law, states are required to provide independent reviews of children who are the subject of a dependency action and in out-of-home care. Under this law the FCRB is mandated to make determinations in these four key areas:

  • safety, necessity and appropriateness of placement
  • case plan compliance
  • progress toward mitigating the need for foster care
  • a likely date (target date) by which the child may be returned home or placed for adoption or legal guardianship.

As one of the first states in the nation to establish citizen review boards, Arizona's system is housed within the Dependent Children's Services Division of the Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts.

The Arizona Foster Care Review Board has been a member of the National Association of Foster Care Reviewers since 1979. Arizona is one of 24 states that have a citizen review process in place to review cases of children in the foster care system.

Structure of the FCRB
There is at least one board in each county reviewing the cases of children in that county. There are several boards in the more populated counties.

A board is established for every 100 children that need to be reviewed. The presiding juvenile court judge in each county establishes new boards by an order, and appoints volunteers to a specific board.

95 Review Boards total
Currently there are:
42 Maricopa County Boards 
25 Pima County Boards  
4   Yavapai County Boards  
3   Cochise County Boards  
3   Mohave County Boards  
2   Coconino County Boards
2   Gila County Boards
5   Pinal County Boards
2   Yuma County Boards
2   Navajo County Boards
Six counties which have 1 board each: Apache County
Graham County
Greenlee County
La Paz County
Santa Cruz County

The FCRB is comprised of a State Foster Care Review Board with representatives from the boards and the community. The State Foster Care Review Board reviews and coordinates board activities and establishes training programs for board members. The State Board makes recommendations to the Arizona Supreme Court, governor and legislature regarding foster care statutes, policies, and procedures in January of each year through the production and distribution of an annual report.

There are five volunteer members on each board, with a chair and vice chair designated. An FCRB staff person facilitates each board. There must be three volunteer members present to have a quorum. Two volunteer members are permitted in certain 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 volunteer members. A member of another review board may serve as a substitute on any review board within their county of appointment.

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, but does not issue orders.

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.

FCRB Volunteer's Time Commitment

  • Each board meets once a month for approximately four to seven hours. There are a few boards that meet less often during the year. Volunteers will be informed of the times and dates of the review board meetings in their area.
  • Three to six days prior to the meeting, volunteers will receive a packet which contains each child's case information to be reviewed. For a new volunteer, the case preparation will take 30 minutes to an hour per case, which means 5 to 10 hours preparation time per board.
  • Each volunteer must complete the annual in-service training requirements.
  • Compensation for the FCRB Volunteer
    This is a volunteer service, volunteers are not compensated. However, volunteers are reimbursed for mileage and meals according to state statutes.

    If you are interested in being an FCRB volunteer and can make this commitment of time, please complete an application and return it to the FCRB office. When the completed application has been received, a fingerprint card along with further instructions will be forwarded to the applicant.

    For additional information on the Foster Care Review Board, please call (602) 542-9400, or click here to send us an email.

    How to Apply for the Foster Care Review Board

    • The applicant must complete an application form. The applicant must have fingerprints taken and a thorough background check is conducted.
    • Once the application process is completed, the applicant will be contacted once a vacancy occurs. A program specialist will conduct a personal interview.
    • Volunteers are selected and appointed by the presiding juvenile court judge in each county.
    • Appointments are usually for three years; appointments may be for less time if a member is appointed to fill a vacancy that has occurred prior to the expiration of a three year term.
    • The judge is required, to the maximum extent possible, to ensure that each board represents the socioeconomic, racial and ethnic groups of the county in which it serves.
    • The volunteer must complete a two day new board member orientation within 90 days following appointment.

                  Click here to download the form.

                  You may send  completed applications to:

    Administrative Office of the Courts
    Foster Care Review Board
    1501 West Washington, Suite 128
    Phoenix, AZ 85007