To recommend a permanency plan and identify case barriers that are causing delays in an effort to expedite permanency for children in foster care.
To independently monitor the safety, progress toward permanency and well-being of individual children, and groups of children in foster care.
To continually stimulate progress and improvements in individual cases and child welfare system performance.
To hold individuals, organizations, and systems accountable for achieving positive outcomes for children in foster care.
To serve as an early-warning assessment device for families, policy-makers, and child welfare decision-makers, alerting them when foster care practice significantly deviates from policy and regulations and a child is at significant risk of harm.
In the early 1970's many child welfare professionals and citizens groups began advocacy efforts on behalf of children in the foster care system. These efforts arose out of their concern for children adrift in the foster care system. The ultimate result of these efforts was the establishment of the South Carolina Foster Care Review Board system in 1974.
Review board members are volunteer citizens from around the state nominated by their legislative delegation and appointed to serve four-year terms by the Governor. Board members come from all walks of life and are individuals who care about children, are willing to advocate for their right to have a safe, nurturing family, and are involved in their communities.
A board member's primary function is to review cases of children who have resided in public foster care for a period of more than four consecutive months to determine what efforts have been made by the supervising agency or child caring facility to secure a permanent home for the child. Board members also engage in community advocacy to bring community awareness to the barriers that children and families encounter and to strengthen the child welfare system.
No. Foster Care Review Board provides external oversight and accountability for foster care cases but they do not provide any direct services to children and families. All recommendations are advisory and, while they do advocate for steps to be taken in specific cases, they do not provide any case management services.
Whenever possible, review boards recommend that children return to their parents. If this is not possible within a reasonable amount of time, they recommend that maximum efforts be made toward adoption. Other recommendations for a child are considered after adoption has been thoroughly assessed and determined not to be in the child's best interest.
Attending a Meeting
A review consists of a business meeting at the beginning of the day where the board receives updates on the program and discusses monthly training topics from the Review Board Coordinator. The remainder of the day is comprised of individual reviews of cases of children in foster care. Individual reviews include a recognition of all parties present, including Review Board members, Foster Care Review Division staff, interested parties and DSS staff. An overview of the case is presented by the DSS Case Manager which details the history of the case, the length of time in foster care, and the last recommendation. The Board then interviews any interested party present, followed by specific questions to the case manager to determine the progress being made toward securing a permanent and safe home for the child being reviewed. The Board then meets privately to discuss the case information and make their recommendation which they share with attendees before adjourning.
Meetings typically last 20-30 minutes and you should expect to be asked for information that you have about the case, especially from the previous 6 months.
If you were invited to a review meeting but are unable to attend, please complete the appropriate questionnaire located on our main page so that board members have all relevant information to make an informed recommendation and so that your voice is heard.
The minimum qualifications to be a board member are that you are over 18 years of age and be able to pass a criminal background check and Central Registry check as required by the South Carolina Children’s Code 63-11-270.
Board members are required to attend an initial orientation and two trainings each year. They must also be able to commit to attending a full day of reviews each month.
Board members must complete a five-hour orientation training prior to beginning to serve. They also receive ongoing training twice each year. Additional supplemental trainings are offered throughout the year and the Foster Care Review Division has a training and volunteer coordinator to provide support as needed.
Once you have been recommended by your legislative delegation you will be contacted by the governor’s office to complete their online application and forms, allowing a criminal record and Central Registry check. Your recommendation can’t proceed until you have submitted this information.
Once your background checks have been completed and the governor’s office has the necessary information, they will review it and make a determination regarding whether you will be appointed to the board.