Volunteers needed on Malheur County’s foster care panel

VALE – The Citizen Review Board, essential to Malheur County’s foster care program, needs volunteers to help provide oversight on how well the state tends to foster children.

Data put out by the state Department of Human Services shows that the number of foster children in the county is trending upward, placing strain on the review board’s modest number of members.

Board volunteers, who receive 16 hours of training, have the power to coax the state to move quicker on a case involving a child, and they can bring it to attention when the state fails to follow the law, court orders, or state policy.

John Nichols, state field manager for the review board, said that the board, which currently stands at four volunteers, is functional, but he is seeking more volunteers to lighten the load.

There are many steps . . .