About the Division of Foster Care Review
The South Carolina Foster Care Review Board was created in 1974 by the General Assembly to monitor the progress in achieving permanent placements for children in foster care. The Foster Care Review Board is administered by the South Carolina Department of Children's Advoacy.
South Carolina was the first state to pass a law allowing citizens from each community to become involved in the child welfare system by participating in case reviews of all children who spend longer than four consecutive months in foster care. The objectives of these reviews are to ensure that permanent plans are being made for children and families; and, to promote community awareness about these issues.
The South Carolina Foster Care Review Board is supported by a seven member State Board of Directors. The State Board meets quarterly and is responsible for reviewing and coordinating the activities of the Local Review Boards and making recommendations in an annual report.
Local Review Boards
Each of South Carolina's sixteen judicial circuits has at least one Local Review Board. Each Local Review Board is made up of five community volunteers appointed by the Governor. A professional staff person from the Division of Foster Care Review coordinates the monthly review meetings of each local board.
There are currently 42 Local Review Boards across the state that conduct semi-annual case reviews. There is at least one Local Review Board in each of the sixteen judicial circuits.
APPOINTMENT TO LOCAL BOARDS
Local Review Board members are appointed to serve on local boards by the Governor, upon the recommendation of their legislative delegations. Each local board consists of five members who must be residents of the judicial circuit they represent.
RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE BOARD
Local Review Boards meet one day per month at the Department of Social Services (DSS) offices in the assigned counties of their judicial circuit. It is at these meetings that each child's case is reviewed. After each review, the local board issues a recommendation that addresses what they have determined to be the best permanent plan for the child. This information is filed with the Family Court and sent to DSS and interested parties. Additionally, Review Board members evaluate the state of foster care in South Carolina, make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly, and are actively involved in legislative matters involving child welfare issues. Review Boards help identify gaps in available services to children and families and strive to promote community awareness about these issues.
REVIEW BOARD VACANCIES
Anyone interested in serving on a Local Review Board is urged to contact their local legislative delegation. The South Carolina Foster Care Review Board immediately reports vacancies on local boards to the appropriate legislative delegation by registered mail. The local delegations then recommend placements to the Governor for appointment.
To fill a vacancy on a local Review Board, you must be at least 18 years of age and able to commit to spending one day per month reviewing cases. If you would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer with the South Carolina Foster Care Review Board, please contact the Division of Foster Care Review at 803.734.0480 or by mail at 1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, South Carolina 29201.