In the community

Citizen panel ‘desperate’ for new members to monitor foster cases in Malheur County

A bin of toys and games is set up to help foster children facing difficult transitions. (Enterprise file photo)

ONTARIO – A local citizens board that oversees how the state cares for children in foster care is looking for new members.

The Citizen Review Board is down to two members and can have up to seven. The board meets the first Wednesday of each month, reviewing up to nine cases.

“We are desperate for volunteers,” said John Nichols, Citizen Review Board field manager for the state Justice Department.

The review board “helps foster children from getting lost in the system by reviewing their case,” Nichols said. “All parties at reviews have a voice and can be heard, including children if they these too.

Nichols said the board’s main job is to review the work of state Department of Human Services in handling care of foster children.

Volunteers need to live or work in Malheur County.

At the end of October, Malheur County had 199 children in foster care. Statewide, there were 5,544.

Those interested can contact Nichols at 541-233-8142 or by email at [email protected].

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