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:
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
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.
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
Compensation for the FCRB Volunteer
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
Click here to download the form.
You may send completed applications to:
Administrative Office of the Courts