Authority for the State Foster Care Review Board (FCRB) can be found at A.R.S §8-515.04. The Board was established by Laws 1978, Chapter 102.FunctionThe FCRB, established within the Arizona Supreme Court, coordinates and reviews the activities of local foster care review boards across Arizona. There is at least one local board in each county. Members of the local board are appointed to three-year terms by the presiding juvenile court judge in that county. Generally, one local board is created for every 100 children who have been placed in out-of-home care. The FCRB also establishes training programs for local board members; this training is required in order to serve on a local board pursuant to A.R.S. §8-515.01(D). The Arizona Supreme Court adopts rules relating to the functions and procedures of both the FCRB and the local boards.Seven members of the FCRB are appointed by the Supreme Court and must have knowledge of the problems of foster care. The presiding juvenile court judge in each county appoints one member for every three local boards in the county; counties with a single local board appoint one member to the FCRB. The FCRB website also notes that they advise the juvenile court by sending their reports and recommendations to the judge in placement cases, as well as other interested parties (foster parents, attorneys, etc.).The number of local boards the FCRB oversees varies significantly by county. Apache, Coconino, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Navajo, and Santa Cruz counties each have one local board. The remaining counties have more than one local board: Maricopa (70), Pima (29), Pinal (6), Cochise (4), Mohave (4), Yavapai (3), Gila (2), and Yuma (2). The Phoenix metro area accounts for more than half the total.
Statutory authority for local foster care review boards is found at A.R.S. §§8-514.01 through 8-514.03.HistoryThe FCRB was created by Laws 1978, Chapter 102 in response to a concern that foster children were spending too long in temporary placements and out-of-home care (see “About” section of website). Originally, only five members of the FCRB were appointed by the Supreme Court. This legislation created both the FCRB and the local boards to advise juvenile court judges on children seeking permanent placements and to assess progress toward that goal. The FCRB was intended to be a coordinating body for the local boards, as well as providing training to the local boards which were made up of volunteers. The Supreme Court was authorized to hire a coordinator and other staff as it felt necessary to carry out the FCRB’s duties. The FCRB was also expected to make recommendations to the Supreme Court, Governor, and State Legislature on foster care statutes, policies, and procedures by January 15th each year. This requirement was repealed in 2003 as part of an omnibus bill that eliminated the requirement for state agencies to submit these types of reports. See Laws 2003, Chapter 104.Laws 1996, Chapter 65 increased the number of members appointed to the FCRB by the Supreme Court from five to seven. The law also required each local board to have at least five members (rather than a range of three to five).
- Arizona Revised Statutes
- A.R.S. §§ 8-515.01 through 8-515.04
- Session Laws
- Laws 1978, Chapter 102
- Laws 1996, Chapter 65
- Laws 2003, Chapter 104
- State Foster Care Review Board website: https://www.azcourts.gov/fcrb/