Guide About the Volunteer Case Review Program

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) offers a unique opportunity for community volunteers to make a difference in a foster child's life. For a few hours of your time each month, you can participate on a panel that helps plan for the future of children in DCF care.

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What is a case review?

The family, DCF social workers, foster parents and others working with the family meet to review the family plan and discuss progress towards the established goal for each child. In accordance with Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 197, which was established in 1984, each child's case is reviewed every six months to ensure that necessary services are being provided.

What is a Volunteer Case Reviewer?

Volunteer Case Reviewers are community members (not employed by the Department of Children and Families) who participate on panels to review the case of children who have been placed in foster homes or group homes.

Who else is on the case review panel?

The case review panel consists of the following:

  • A member of the DCF Foster Care Review Unit.
  • An administrator from the DCF area office.
  • A volunteer case reviewer from the local community.

What decisions will the panel make?

The three-member case review panel determines whether:

  • Any concerns for the child's safety were identified through the review process
  • Continued placement of the child is necessary and appropriate
  • Progress is being made to determine a permanent living situation for the child

When and where do case reviews occur?

Each review lasts about an hour and a half and is conducted at a local Department of Children and Families area office. Reviews occur Monday - Friday during the hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm.

What are the benefits of becoming a Volunteer Case Reviewer?

  • Support children in foster care and group care in your community
  • Help identify services in your community to assist families working with DCF
  • On-going support and training

For more information about the Volunteer Case Review program, please call  1-800-286-0323. 

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