Montgomery County, TN – Montgomery County Juvenile Services is seeking adults who are willing to serve on the local foster care review board. Foster care review boards are comprised of citizen volunteers who are appointed by juvenile court judges.
The board serves the quasi-judicial function of hearing cases and advising the court by overseeing the progress of custody cases for children in foster care.
“Children are placed into state custody due to a variety of circumstances that are usually caused by parents or guardians. We are asking for volunteers from the community to be a part of the foster care review board to help us ensure that these children are able to experience safety, security, and stability as quickly as possible,” stated County Probation Case Manager Supervisor and Foster Care Coordinator Howard Johnson.
Juvenile court judges place children into DCS custody for reasons such as educational neglect due to refusal to attend school, negligence of parents getting their child to school as required by Tennessee Compulsory Attendance Requirements, or delinquent offenses enacted by the child.
Parents also petition the juvenile court to remove unruly or delinquent children from their homes, due to an inability to properly supervise them.
The volunteers review paperwork ahead of the hearings and then meet with other members of the board at the courts center or electronically one day per month to examine the cases of children who are in DCS custody. They file a report for each child containing their findings and recommendations.
The report is then forwarded to the juvenile court judge overseeing the custody of each child. Foster Care Review Boards are not aligned with the Department of Children’s Services (DCS). However, children in DCS custody must have their cases reviewed by juvenile court judges and/or foster care review boards at specified intervals.
“Permanency is the goal for children in foster care because it helps to provide them with the stability they need. Children are placed back into the custody of their parents or a family member after the problems that necessitated the removal are corrected,” explained Johnson.
Foster care families are also sorely needed in Montgomery County. Due to a chronic shortage of foster homes, children are often placed in various locations across the state – some of them hundreds of miles away from home. Currently, there are more than 300 children from Montgomery County who are in the custody of DCS.
For those who would like to find out more about becoming a Resource (Foster) Family, contact DCS at 931.503.3200.