As the New Year ensues, many have asked me about opportunities to give back to the community. There is an endless list of nonprofit organizations who accept donations during this time of year, but I would like to take this opportunity to share how you can support local foster children and their families. You may donate your time to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) as a Volunteer Case Reviewer.
As required by Chapter 197 of the Massachusetts General Laws, each foster care case must be reviewed every 6 months by DCF. Case review panels include a member of the community, known as a Volunteer Case Reviewer, along with a member of the DCF Foster Care Review Unit and an administrator from the DCF area office. Volunteer Case Reviewers have the ability to give an honest, independent and unbiased review of each case – a vital part of the entire review process.
Unfortunately, there are over 16,000 cases reviewed each year through DCF and not enough volunteers. Because foster children are placed all over the Commonwealth, every community is affected by this shortage. Please consider making a significant difference in the life of a child and create a bright future for the children of the Commonwealth by volunteering.
Each review session lasts about an hour and a half and is conducted at a local DCF area office. Reviews occur Monday through Friday during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers participate in a pre-service training provided by the Foster Care Review Unit, with the expectation to serve for at least one year.
If you are interested in participating in this initiative and would like more information or have any questions, please contact my office at (617) 722-2011 or email me at Kay.Khan@mahouse.gov.