Each year, thousands of children in Georgia are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect and are placed in foster homes. Unfortunately, these children will be moved to several foster homes before returning to their own home, being placed with extended family members, finding a permanent placement with a new adoptive family, or reaching adulthood on their 18th birthday. Fortunately, there are solutions. Many of these children have been placed in stable, loving homes through the efforts of volunteers from the community who make up the Judicial Citizen Review Board.
Volunteers from the community must first complete a criminal history check and attend fifteen hours of training by the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges. Volunteers are then sworn in by our local Chief Juvenile Court Judge as officers of Bibb County Juvenile Court. Once volunteers complete these requirements to be placed on the Judicial Citizen Review Board, they are assigned to one of ten panels currently operating in Bibb County. The first volunteers of the Judicial Citizen Review Board began working on their panels in March of 2006. Bibb County currently has approximately 50 volunteers serving on the Judicial Citizen Review Board.
The mission of the Judicial Citizen Review Board is to ensure the best interests of children in Bibb County foster care are being met by holding citizen review panels, made up of trained volunteers, that occur periodically to ensure that every child in Bibb County foster care and their families are provided the best possible services within the context of available resources, and that these children are protected from all forms of maltreatment. The panels’ ultimate task is to see that each child is in a permanent home as soon as safely possible, and therefore makes recommendations to the Judge that will best serve the children.
For more information, please contact the program’s coordinator, Karen Warren Rosas, at 478-621-6038.