The state is seeking volunteers for Citizen Foster Care Review Boards in 46 counties throughout Kentucky.

The volunteers are needed to review cases of children placed in foster care and to ensure speedy placement in permanent homes, said Dolores Smith, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Family and Juvenile Services.

The review process will examine whether the needs of children in foster care are being met, Smith said.

“The whole idea is to get permanency for these children,” she said.

The citizen review boards were established by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1982 to “decrease the time children spend in foster care,” according to a news release from the department.

More than more than 1,000 children have been placed in foster care in Jefferson County alone for dependency neglect, abuse or committing status offenses, Smith said.

Residents interested in volunteering for the review board must consent to a criminal record and Central Registry check and complete a six-hour training session, according to a press release.

Smith said the next training session is Friday in Louisville and the L&N Building on Broadway. All volunteers must contact the Administrative Office of the Courts prior to attending the training, she added.

The only prerequisite to volunteering for a review board, she said, is to have an interest in child welfare.

“That’s the overwhelming characteristic to have, is an interest and concern,” she said.

Social workers, psychologists, educators and medical attorneys are also favorable to have on the boards, Smith said.

Volunteers would be required to dedicate about four hours a month to the board. The average length of volunteer service is six years.

Volunteers are also not required to reside in the county where a board meets, according to the release.

People interested in volunteering for the boards can find more information here.

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.