The name will change, but Iowa kids who’re at risk still have two valuable programs that get them volunteer help. Jerry Foxhoven, administrator of the state’s Citizen Foster Care Review Board, explains it will join with another. The Foster Care Review Board will merge with CASA, the court-appointed special advocate program which pairs a volunteer with a child who’s involved in a court case, like kids who’re being removed from a dangerous parent. Budget cuts removed the CASA program from the state’s judicial branch, and on July 1st both programs will combine under a new Child Advocacy Board. Foxhoven says it’ll prepare the volunteers so they can do the job well.He says volunteers get 30 hours of start-up training as they prepare to work with kids and families. He says even Department of Human Services officials would agree the agency can’t meet the needs of all kids, and can use the help. It’s possible volunteers in one part of the program could clash with those from another.He says one might recommend a child be returned to a home, another that adoption is best, and at times CASA volunteers have done that with review boards, but they’ll work independently. Foxhoven says the recommendations will be sorted out by the courts.
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