Iowa’s Citizen Foster Care Review Boards (ICFCRB or FCRB) provide independent third-party citizen review of cases in the foster care system.
Through joint efforts of citizens, the legislature, and the governor, the FCRB program was signed into law in July 1984. Not all counties in Iowa have a review board; some counties have more than one active board, and some boards review cases from multiple counties.
Local boards meet monthly or bi-monthly to review the status of children who have been removed from parental custody. The FCRB serves as a less formal forum to hear about the progress or challenges being encountered and to suggest recommendations from trained and invested citizens with a variety of life experiences to draw from. The review process identifies systemic barriers to achieving timely permanency. The FCRB provides an opportunity for ordinary Iowa citizens to use their collective talents to positively affect the lives of children and families.
FCRB volunteers have an interest in child welfare in their communities. They come from all walks of life, representing various socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic groups and occupations. If you want to participate as a volunteer, you must meet these qualifications:
- Persons age 21 and older can apply to serve.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality, assess written and verbal communication, be objective and effectively communicate with persons who attend foster care reviews.
- Ability to work as a team to formulate findings and recommendations.
- Volunteers must be able to commit to a four-year term.
- Pass criminal and background checks.
All FCRB volunteers are provided with an initial 15-hour training, which includes information regarding applicable laws, organizational information, and observing a local review board in action. All new FCRB volunteers join a board of seasoned volunteers who provide guidance as the new volunteers learn the role of board member. In addition, a facilitator attends every child’s review to assist the FCRB and to write the report to the Court.
Continuous learning opportunities are also provided so that the volunteer is kept up to date with current social work practice, new services and laws, and other topics of interest. In addition to the facilitator, all boards are supported by a local program coordinator and support staff who are available to answer questions, to provide for needed ongoing training, and to act as liaisons among the boards and the Court, HHS social work staff, and other entities.
The FCRB time commitment consists of one daytime meeting per month or every other month and time spent reading case files in preparation for the meeting day.
Apply to Volunteer
- Submit an application with three references.
- Consent to background checks.
- Participate in an interview with the local coordinator.
- Complete Pre-Service Training:
- Observe a Local Board
- Module 1: Personal Study - Introduction to FCRB
- Module 2: Introduction to Child Welfare
- Module 3: FCRB Process
- Security Awareness Training
- Sign the Oath of Confidentiality with local judge.
Support Our Mission
Friends of Iowa CASA and ICFCRB is a non-profit agency that partners with the Child Advocacy Board to promote and support volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children and public awareness of the importance of safe and permanent homes for all children. Donations to Friends of Iowa CASA and ICFCRB are tax deductible and are used to support the recruitment, training and ongoing support and recognition of volunteers in the Iowa CASA and FCRB programs.