A citizen board that advises the courts on finding foster children permanent homes is in desperate need of local volunteers.
Payson’s Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) has three vacancies, said Sandy Guizzetti, FCRB’s regional manager.
The FCRB is a statewide program with at least one board in every county. In Gila County, there is a board in Payson and Globe.
The volunteer-based program is charged with reviewing the case of every child that is the victim of abuse and/or neglect, is in out-of-home care and who is the subject of court proceedings, Guizzetti said.
The FCRB is statutorily mandated to review the cases of children in foster care and provide a written report to the juvenile courts.
The organization’s philosophy is that every child deserves a permanent home where they are nurtured, loved and protected.
“Citizens hear stories about children entering the foster care system, but may not be aware that the number of abuse and neglect cases continues to increase and flow into an extremely overburdened child protection system,” Guizzetti said. “Becoming a Foster Care Review Board volunteer is a way for citizens to become involved, donate one day a month to review cases and advocate for the needs of abused/neglected children and their families.”
Volunteers are typically asked to serve an eight-hour day once a month reviewing cases, which does not include the hours most volunteers prepare before a case, she said.
Typically, three to six days prior a meeting, volunteers receive a packet containing a child’s case information. For a new volunteer, preparation takes 30 minutes to an hour per case, which means five to 10 hours preparation time.
For information, contact Guizzetti at (520) 388-4300, by e-mail at Sguizzetti@courts. az.gov or visit www.AZFCRB.org.