(a) (1) One (1) or more foster care review boards are hereby established in each county or in a region comprised of contiguous counties, the members being appointed by the judge or judges having juvenile court jurisdiction in such county or region by their mutual agreement. The judge or judges may appoint more than one (1) board and divide the workload in an equitable manner.
(2) The judge or judges may request recommendations from the administrative office of the courts or the department of children's services in making appointments to the foster care review board. Each board may include a nurse, a doctor, a lawyer, a member of a human resource agency, such as the departments of health or human services, a member of a local education agency, a staff member of a local mental health agency, a youth who was formerly in foster care and shall include a mother or father with a minor child and a person under the age of thirty (30). The members appointed to the board shall serve for two (2) years and shall serve without any form of compensation or reimbursement of expenses. The youth services officer or other designated officer of the court shall serve as a facilitator to each county or regional board. In counties with a population of less than one hundred thousand (100,000), the board shall consist of five (5) members. In counties with a population of more than one hundred thousand (100,000), and in regions, each board shall consist of seven (7) members. A quorum must exist to conduct the review.
(3) In lieu of the provisions of subdivisions (a)(1) and (2), the judge having juvenile court jurisdiction in any county may elect to personally review each case and, therefore, not appoint a foster care review board or to personally review certain cases instead of assigning them to the board for review even though a board is appointed. In the event the judge elects not to appoint a board, the judge shall specify by written order of the court duly entered on the record the guidelines and procedures the judge will use to ensure that the judge conducts the reviews required by this part for every child in foster care under the jurisdiction of the judge's court within ninety (90) days of the child's date of foster care and no less frequently than every six (6) months thereafter until such time as the child is no longer in foster care. A copy of this order shall be furnished to the county director of the department and to the commission on children and youth. The court may elect at any time to rescind this order and appoint a board pursuant to subdivisions (a)(1) and (2).
(4) All board members shall be required to participate in the training related to the performance of their duties.
(5) Nothing in this section shall preclude the court from reviewing a case, in lieu of the foster care review board, on either a motion by any party or on the court's own motion.
(b) It is the responsibility of the foster care review board or court to conduct the reviews specified in subsection (a). The board and the department shall develop adequate procedures to ensure that the case of each child in foster care is reviewed no less frequently than ninety (90) days after placement in foster care and every six (6) months thereafter; provided, that whenever a judicial hearing that addresses the issues specified in § 37-2-404 is held within six (6) months of a review, the next review may be held within six (6) months of the judicial hearing instead of within six (6) months of the previous review, except for the first hearing held within ninety (90) days of the foster care placement.
(c) (1) The foster care review board shall submit a report to the judge on each child reviewed. Such report shall be submitted to the judge within ten (10) calendar days following the review conducted by the board. Such reports are advisory and shall contain the board's findings and recommendations pursuant to the provisions of § 37-2-404(b). The report shall include the date of the next review. A copy of the report shall be provided to the department or agency and to the child's parent(s) whose rights have not been terminated or surrendered, the parent's attorney, the guardian ad litem and/or attorney for the child, and the child who is a party to the proceeding.
(2) The foster care review board may also make a direct referral to the judge or magistrate with such findings and recommendations under the following circumstances and timeframes:
(A) Where conditions persist that constitute a deterrent to reaching the permanency goals in a given case and such conditions indirectly and chronically compromise the health, safety or welfare of the child, such direct referral case shall be heard by the judge or magistrate within thirty (30) calendar days; or
(B) Where issues in a particular case constitute a risk of harm and directly compromise the health, safety or welfare of the child, such direct referral case shall be heard by the judge or magistrate within seventy-two (72) hours, excluding non-judicial days.
Acts 1976, ch. 731, § 4; 1979, ch. 103, § 1; 1979, ch. 272, § 4; 1982, ch. 811, § 4; 1983, ch. 438, §§ 14-16; T.C.A., § 37-1505; Acts 1984, ch. 789, § 4; 1988, ch. 560, §§ 9, 10; 1996, ch. 1079, §§ 73, 111; 1999, ch. 164, § 1; 2009, ch. 235, § 1; 2010, ch. 842, §§ 7-10.
Compiler's Notes. For table of U.S. decennial populations of Tennessee counties, see Volume 13 and its supplement.