National Citizen Review Panels Virtual Community

Citizen Review Panels (CRPs) are federally mandated mechanisms for citizen participation in child protection, through evaluation and public outreach. Each state is required to have at least one CRP. Volunteer panel members conduct an evaluation of their state and local child protective services (CPS) agencies, and collect public opinion on CPS policies and services. This site contains resources and tips for CRPs, as well as information about each state’s CRP, including annual reports, and training materials.

State Information

Click a state in the map below for more information.

Alabama

Contact Information Brief Description

Mason Hobbie
Interim Coordinator
251-450-7204
mason.hobbie@dhr.alabama.gov
www.dhr.state.al.usLink opens in a new window.

Alabama began its Quality Assurance System in 1995. When CAPTA required establishment of Citizen Review Panels, Alabama chose to incorporate the requirements into the already established Quality Assurance System, as it contained most of the requirements of the legislation. Alabama has Quality Assurance/Citizen Review Panels in all 67 counties (two panels in Jefferson County, the largest metropolitan area) and a statewide panel to coordinate the information of all the county committees, and to provide direct feedback to the state system as a whole.

Alaska

Contact Information Brief Description

Jodi Fondy
Coordinator, Alaska CRP
admin@crpalaska.org
www.crpalaska.orgLink opens in a new window.

Alaska’s Citizen Review Panel is authorized by federal and state statutes. It is composed of volunteers representing the state’s population. The Panel is led by a Chair and Vice-Chair. The Panel selects its members based on specific criteria, through a formal recruitment process. State’s Office of Children Services (OCS, Alaska’s CPS agency) provides staffing through an independent contract. The Director and senior staff of OCS meets with CRP on a monthly basis. There is no designated liaison.

Arizona

Contact Information Brief Description

Sandra Lescoe, MSW
CRP Program Coordinator
602-496-1487
sandra.lescoe@asu.edu
child-wellbeing.asu.edu/ content/arizona-citizen- review-panels-0Link opens in a new window.

Through an interagency service agreement with the Department of Child Safety (DCS) Arizona State University’s Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy (CABHP) provides administrative support and oversees the operation of the Arizona Citizen Review Panel Program (ACRPP). As part of the interagency service agreement, the CRP Program Coordinator works in conjunction with DCS to complete all federal requirements identified in CAPTA regarding the CRPs. Arizona has three fully operational regional panels that meet quarterly.

The panel members are committed volunteers comprised of private citizens and professionals who take an active role in helping influence, support, and advocate for children and families. A defined process is utilized for the panel members to collect, review, assess and discuss confidential information about DCS cases, policies, procedures, practice, data or other information the CRP utilizes to develop recommendations with emphasis on strategies to improve the child welfare system. The quarterly meetings also include presentations and/or educational materials from DCS, community providers or other child welfare partners, to provide panel members with a working knowledge of child welfare and the complexities of the child protection service system.

The Department’s Practice Improvement Specialists and other agency representatives attend region specific CRP meetings and use the information garnered from the meetings to improve practice in their locations. These representatives provide clarification and help facilitate opportunities for open dialogue between DCS and the panel members.

Arkansas

Contact Information Brief Description

Lindsay McCoy
Program Manager
Division of Children and Family Services
501-682-8008
lindsay.mccoy@dhs.arkansas.gov

Arkansas has 3 Citizen Review Panels which were started in 1999. The Panels cover Logan, Ouachita, and Pope Counties. Each panel has a coordinator who is responsible for convening the panel in their respective counties. The coordinator submits an annual report, including recommendations, to the Division of Children and Family Services. Recommendations are reviewed by State staff and responses are developed to provide feedback to the panel coordinators.

California

Contact Information Brief Description

Angela Ponivas
Bureau Chief
Office of Child Abuse Prevention
California Department of Social Services
916-657-4709
angela.ponivas@dss.ca.gov
www.childsworld.ca.gov/ PG2425.htmLink opens in a new window.
www.smcrp.orgLink opens in a new window.

California has three panels. There are two local panels in San Mateo County and Ventura County and a statewide panel through the Prevention and Early Intervention Committee of the California Child Welfare Council. Each panel has a chairperson/coordinator responsible for assisting the panel members in following through with the meeting and reporting requirements.

Colorado

Contact Information Brief Description

Lorendia Schmidt, LCSW, CACI
CAPTA Administrator
Division of Child Welfare
Colorado Department of Human Services
303-866-4268
lorendia.schmidt@state.co.us
www.cdhs.state.co.usLink opens in a new window.
sites.google.com/a/state.co.us/
humanservices/Link opens in a new window.

Colorado Child Abuse Prevention & Treatment Act (CAPTA) Citizen Review Panels:

  1. Children’s Justice Act Task Force
  2. Institutional Abuse and Neglect Review Team
  3. Child Fatality Review Team

Reports

Connecticut

Contact Information Brief Description

Jo Hawke
Executive Director, FAVOR
860-563-3232

Jenny Bridges
FAVOR, Inc.
jgarcia@favor-ct.org www.favor‐ct.org/programs‐services/
citizens‐review‐panels/Link opens in a new window.

The following groups are serving as Connecticut’s Citizen Review Panels: (1) The State Advisory Council on Children and Families; and (2) FAVOR’s Eastern Region Family Council and Western Region Family Council CRPs. Membership in each group is based on topic areas of interest to panel members.

Washington, D.C.

Contact Information Brief Description

Emily Smith Goering
Vice Chair (Serving as interim chair)
202-798-3424
egoering@umaryland.edu

Joyce Thomas
Facilitator
202-544-3144
joyce@childprotection.org
www.dc-crp.orgLink opens in a new window.

The DC Citizen Review Panel is an external, independent oversight body for the District’s child welfare system, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of District government agencies involved in child protection as well as community-based services agencies involved in child protection. The Panel focuses on examination of policies, practices, and procedures of the District’s Child and Family Services Agency, assessing the extent to which the Agency is effectively discharging its child protection responsibilities and making recommendations for improvements.

Members of the Panel are informed volunteer citizens of the District of Columbia in which 8 members are appointed by the Mayor, and 7 members are approved by Resolution of the DC City Council. This configuration is in compliance with DC Official Code (Law), and panel members have a wide range of knowledge and experience about issues related to the District’s child welfare system. The Panel meets quarterly and is organized into task forces to work on its priority topics. The Center for Child Protection and Family Sup- port (Center) serves as the Facilitator of the DC Citizen Review Panel. The Center is a non-profit social service agency recognized as a leader in the field of child abuse and neglect; this brings substantive support, content knowledge, local and national expertise to the Panel.

Delaware

Contact Information Brief Description

Rosalie Morales
Coordinator
Office of the Child Advocate
302-255-1730
rosalie.morales@state.de.us
http://courts.delaware.gov/
childadvocate/index.aspxLink opens in a new window.

Delaware’s Child Protection Accountability Commission (CPAC) was established by an Act of the Delaware General Assembly in 1997 following the death of a 4‐year‐old boy named Bryan Martin. Bryan’s death demonstrated the need for multidisciplinary collaboration and accountability in Delaware’s child protection system. In 2004, CPAC was designated by Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, in its state plan under the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), to serve as Delaware’s Citizen Review Panel (CRP). CPAC also serves as the Children’s Justice Act State Task Force.

Reports

Florida

Contact Information Brief Description

Erin Hough
Prevention Specialist
Office of Child Welfare
Florida Department of Children and Families
850-717-4658 (office)
850-251-7007 (cell)
erin.hough@myflfamilies.com
www.dcf.state.fl.us/initiatives/Link opens in a new window.

Florida’s designated Citizen Review Panels are listed below. Each panel submits an annual review report with recommendations for im- proved service delivery, outcomes, and system of care modifications. Each Panel has a Chairperson who is responsible for assisting the Panel members in following through with their annual goals.

  • Florida Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers (FICCIT) Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council
  • State Child Abuse Death Review Team (CADRT), and Independent Living Services Advisory Council

Reports

Georgia

Contact Information Brief Description

Deb Farrell
CAPTA Panel & CJA Task Force Project Coordinator
c/o Care Solutions Inc.
770-642-6722 x307
debfarrell@caresolutions.com
www.gacrp.comLink opens in a new window.

Georgia designated three existing committees to serve as its citizen review panels (CAPTA Panels): the Child Protective Services Advisory Committee (CPSAC), the Children’s Justice Act Task Force (CJATF), and the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel (CFRP). The CJATF also serves as a task force on children’s justice. The CFRP is a state legislated body charged with reviewing all child deaths. All three Panels have a statewide approach to examining systemic issues that impact the effectiveness of the state’s child protection system. Their overlapping interests address the full child welfare continuum, from prevention and investigation to treatment and prosecution of cases of child abuse and neglect and maltreatment-related fatalities. Georgia’s CAPTA Panels also monitor the state’s compliance with CAPTA and its CAPTA plan.

Hawaii

Contact Information Brief Description

Tracy L. Yadao
Assistant Program Administrator
Department of Human Services
SSD/CPS/Program Development
808-586-5699
tyadao@dhs.hawaii.gov

The Na Kupa Alo Ana O Hawaii Citizen’s Review Panel is comprised of citizen volunteers, as mandated by the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). These volunteer representatives work and live in different communities on islands throughout the State of Hawaii. Face to face meetings are held every other month on the island of Oahu and phone conferences are done in between meetings to share updates. Together, we make recommendations to the child welfare system on making improvements to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and their families living in Hawaii.

Idaho

Contact Information Brief Description

Misty Myatt
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Children/
AbuseNeglect/KeepingChildrenSafePanels/
tabid/477/Default.aspxLink opens in a new window.

Idaho has seven regional Citizen Review Panels which were started as independent panels in 1995. The Panels cover the Children and Family Services Program for the seven regions. Idaho Panels chose the name “Keeping Children Safe Panel” for Idaho’s citizen review panels.

Each regional panel has a Chairperson or Co-Chairpersons who are responsible for assisting the panel members in following through with their annual goals. Goals are developed during a fall retreat each year.

Illinois

Contact Information Brief Description

Shirley Davis-Barsh
Grant Manager Supervisor
Department of Children and Family Services
312-814-5510
shirley.davis-barsh@illinois.gov
www.il.state.us/dcfsLink opens in a new window.

Illinois has four statewide Citizen Review Panels (CRPs) comprised of 1) Statewide Citizen Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN), 2) the Children’s Justice Task Force (CJTF), the Child Death Review Teams (CDRT) s Executive Council and the Child and Family Advisory Council (CFAC).

Each Panel has a chairperson and vice-chairperson. Currently Illinois is working to re-organize the Citizen Review Panel Steering Committee which will include the chair and vice chair, DCFS Administrators and Coordinators within the Division of Grant Management and Accountability, Office of Policy, Child Protection and the Division of Quality Assurance. The CRP Steering Committee once re-organized will meet at least twice a year to share information, set goals, and assess the progress of the recommendations of the Panels to the IDCFS Director.

Indiana

Contact Information Brief Description

Kyle D. Gaddis
Attorney/Federal Compliance Manager
Indiana Department of Child Services
317-234-6626
kyle.gaddis@dcs.in.gov
www.in.gov/dcsLink opens in a new window.

Indiana statute requires that Indiana have three Citizen’s Review Panels including a child fatality review team, a child protection team, and a foster care advisory team. Each team has at least one Chairperson.

Indiana changed their reporting period to a calendar year to better accommodate the needs of its panels.

Two CRPs will be completing their three year term on December 31, 2016; the Switzerland County Child Protection Team CRP and the Heritage Foster and Adoption Support, Inc. CRP. Work is underway on identifying a new child protection and foster care advisory team to fulfill the next three year term that starts January 1, 2017. The Knox County Fatality Review Team was recently recruited to be a CRP and their activities thus far have focused on getting familiar with the objectives of citizen review panels and setting their priorities.

Iowa

Contact Information Brief Description

Tricia Barto
CJA/CAPTA Program Manager
Iowa Department of Human Services
Division of Adult, Children and Family Services
515-281-7151
pbarto@dhs.state.ia.us

Iowa has one statewide and two regional Citizen Review Panels (CRPs). The Statewide Citizen Review Panel, The Child Protection Council, is centrally located in the state’s capital of Des Moines. The two regional Citizen Review Panels are located in the Northern and Western parts of the state. The Cerro Gordo County Family Violence Response Team is located in northern Iowa in Mason City and the Northwest Iowa Citizen Review Panel represents the western side of Iowa and meets in Sioux City.

The membership of the State Citizen Review Panel is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of persons from across Iowa who are involved in Iowa’s child protection system. The membership of the two Regional Citizen Review Panels represents a broad range of community members who have expertise in the child abuse and treatment field along with local citizens who have interests in the child abuse area.

Kansas

Contact Information Brief Description

Susan Gile
Kansas Department for Children & Families
785-296-5254
susan.gile@ks.gov
www.ag.ks.gov/scdrbLink opens in a new window.

Kansas has three statewide Citizen Review Panels which were started as independent panels in July, 1999. The Panels are the Kansas Child Death Review Board, the Kansas Citizen Review Panel: Custody to Transition; and the Kansas Citizen Review Panel: Intake to Petition.

Each Panel has a Chairperson and Assistant Chairperson who are responsible for leading the quarterly Panel meetings and separately scheduled subcommittee meetings that re- search special topics. Recommendations from the Panels to the State agency are charted and disposition noted. Research topics are suggested annually by the State agency and re- search is carried out by the Panels. Panels also choose other topics to study.

Kentucky

Contact Information Brief Description

LaToya Burns Vaughn
Program Coordinator
Citizen Review Panel/Children’s Justice Act Task Force
859-257-7210
latoya.vaughn@uky.edu
trc.uky.edu/citizens-review-panelLink opens in a new window.

Kentucky has two regional panels and one statewide panel. The regional panels meet monthly and the statewide group meets quarterly. Each Panel has a Chairperson who is responsible for assisting the Panel members in following through with their annual goals. Goals are developed during a Fall retreat each year. The mission of Kentucky’s Citizen Review Panels is to involve the larger community in evaluating the practices and policy of the Department for Community Based Services. Ultimately, our goal is to improve the lives of every child and family in the Commonwealth.

Louisiana

Contact Information Brief Description

Rose Sam
Operation Division
DCFS/Child Welfare
225-342-9141
rose.sam@la.gov

Louisiana has three (3) Citizen Review Panels which began their formation in 1999. The Beauregard Panel is parish based and located in the southeastern quadrant of the state within the Lake Charles Region. The remaining two panels are based in the regions of Lafayette and Monroe, which both consist of multiple parishes. Each panel respective chair, vice chair or DCFS Liaison is responsible for assisting members in attaining the goal to provide an opportunity for citizens to commit in promoting and creating positive change for the overall well-being and safety of children, youth and families.

Other Information: The Louisiana Citizen Review Panels continue to assist the Department in moving toward its goals to provide safety, permanency, and well-being for children in the state of Louisiana. For more information regarding interest in the participation on one of our panels, see DCFS.CitizenReview@la.gov.

Maine

Contact Information Brief Description

Jan Bielau-Nivus
CAPTA Panel Coordinator
Office of Child and Family Services
207-626-8660
www.childabuseactionnetwork.comLink opens in a new window.

The mission of Maine’s Citizen Review Panel is to assure that the State system is meeting the safety, permanency, and wellbeing needs of children and families serviced by the child protection agency. To achieve its mission, the Citizen Review Panel engages in activities such as assessment research, review of individual cases, advocacy, holding public hearings, and promoting greater citizen involvement. It is hoped that the activities of the Citizen Review Panel will improve child safety and the quality of services to children, families, and local communities. The CRP recommendations can be made immediately to the Commissioner of the Department Health and Human Services or through the annual report. Recommendations can also be made through the Department liaison, the Office of Child and Family Services Associate Director Policy and Prevention or the Director of the Office of Child and Family Services.

Maryland

Contact Information Brief Description

State Citizens Review Board for Children
Denise E. Wheeler
Administrator
410-238-1337
denise.wheeler@maryland.gov
www.dhr.maryland.gov/crbcLink opens in a new window.

State Council on Child Abuse & Neglect
Claudia Remington
410-767-7868 (office)
410-336-3820 (cell)
claudia.remington@maryland.gov

State Child Fatality Review Team
Richa Ranade
410-767-3702
richa.ranade@maryland.gov
SCFRT, www.fha.state.md.us/ mch/cfrLink opens in a new window.
SCRBC, www.dhr.state.md.us/crbc/index.htmLink opens in a new window.

Maryland’s 3 statewide Citizen Review Panels were formed from 2 citizen panels that pre-dated CAPTA and one newly-created entity: the State Foster Care Review Board and the Governor’s Council on Child Abuse and Neglect pre- dated the statutory establishment of CAPTA panels in Maryland. In addition, 24 local Citizen Review Panels, appointed by local governments, were created to conduct case reviews and otherwise assist the State Board and the State Council. The State Child Fatality Review Team (along with 24 local teams) was created and also designated a CAPTA panel via the 1999 legislation.

The Citizen’s Review Board for Children (SCRBC) was established by the Maryland State legislature as the Foster Care Review Board in 1978 to spur efforts to provide permanence in the lives of foster children. The State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (SCCAN) is charged by the Maryland State legislature to “report and make recommendations annually to the Governor and the General Assembly on matters relating to the prevention, detection, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse and neglect, including policy and training needs.” The purpose of the State Child Fatality Review Team (SCFRT) is to prevent child deaths by developing an understanding of the causes and incidence of child deaths; developing plans for and implementing changes within the agencies represented on the State CFR team to prevent child deaths, and to advise the Governor, General Assembly, and the public on changes to law, policy, and practice to prevent child death.

Each Panel has a Chairperson who is responsible for assisting the Panel members in following through with their annual goals. Goals are developed during a winter retreat each year.

Massachusetts

Contact Information Brief Description

Liz Skinner-Reilly
MA Department of Social Services
617-748-2350
liz.skinner-reilly@state.ma.us

Massachusetts has three citizen participation groups which serve as the Department’s Citizen Review Panels, each with different foci that serve the needs of children, youth and families throughout the Commonwealth. Each group has a coordinator who is responsible for assisting members in attaining their goals and preparing recommendations on an annual basis.

Michigan

Contact Information Brief Description

Tonya Randall, MSW
State Coordinator
Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect
989-293-6181
randall2@michigan.gov

Michael Foley
Executive Director
Michigan Children’s Trust Fund
517-373-4320
foleym2@michigan.gov

Nicole DeWitt, BA
Special Projects Facilitator, Child Death Review
Center for Child and Family Health
517-324-7336
ndewitt@mphi.org

Michigan has three Citizen Review Panels, two of which were established with membership from existing citizen advisory committees: the Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect (GTF) (Children’s Justice Act) and the State Child Death Advisory Team (CDAT). The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) oversees the third panel. The panels are the Citizen Review Panel for Prevention (from CTF), Citizen Review Panel for Children’s Protective Services, Foster Care and Adoption (from GTF) and Citizen Review Panel on Child Fatalities (CDAT).

Minnesota

Contact Information Brief Description

Mary Doyle
Minnesota Department of Human Services
651-431-4704
mary.doyle@state.mn.us
www.dhs.state.mn.usLink opens in a new window.

As of October 2009, Minnesota has five Citizen Review Panels (CRP): Chisago, Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington and Winona Counties. A volunteer citizen facilitates the statewide CRP Steering Committee that also includes the chair and vice-chair from each panel. The panels meet monthly. All five panels gather for a training and recognition event annually. The Minnesota Department of Human Services employs a consultant to coordinate the Citizen Review Panels. Each county’s child protection agency provides a liaison to their CRP. The annual reports are submitted to the regional federal Health and Human Services. In February and March the annual reports are presented to local county social service agencies, to the county boards of commissioners and to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Human services in Minnesota are state supervised and county administered.

Mississippi

Contact Information Brief Description

Brian Lewis
601-359-4495 Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services 601-359-4695
769-233-3542 (cell)
brian.lewis@mdcps.ms.gov

Charlotte H. Burrell
Division Director of Prevention
Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services
charlotte.burrell@mdcps.ms.gov

Verdavia Coleman
Special Projects Officer IV
Prevention Unit
Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services
601-359-4696
verdavia.coleman@mdcps.ms.gov
www.mdcps.ms.govLink opens in a new window.

The Mississippi Citizen Review Panel is charged with evaluating state child welfare systems and making suggestions for improvement. This Panel is interested in promoting greater citizen involvement in programs and policies associated to the well-being of children which is based on policy goals related to pragmatic and community-focused objectives.

The Mississippi Citizen Review Panel is comprised of several panels that cover all parts of the state. The Children’s Trust Fund Advisory Council, Teen Advisory Board, and Children’s Justice Act Task Force are three panels covering the state.

Panel membership is comprised of (1) providers of services to abused and neglected children and families, and (2) local citizens, including consumers of the Child Protective Services system such as foster parents, former foster children, adoptive parents, parents, interested business and civic representatives, educators, and members of the community at large.

Missouri

Contact Information Brief Description

Christy Collins, M.S.
Policy and Practice Coordinator
Children’s Division – Central Office
573-751-9603
christy.collins@dss.mo.gov

Cari Pointer
Task Force on Children’s Justice Panel-CJA Liaison
Child Fatality Review Program Panel Member-Liaison
CANRB-Facilitator

Children’s Division
573-751-8930
cari.a.pointer@dss.mo.gov
www.governor.mo.gov/boardsLink opens in a new window.
www.dss.mo.gov/stat/sp.htmLink opens in a new window.
www.dss.mo.gov/cd/cjtf/index.htmLink opens in a new window.

Missouri’s Citizen Review Panels consist of three entities: The Child Abuse/Neglect Review Board (CANRB), the Child Fatality Review Program (CFRP) and the Task Force on Children’s Justice. There are currently five CANRB panels, each consisting of nine members who are appointed by the Governor and approved by the Sen- ate. The CANRB was established to provide an independent administrative review of child abuse/neglect determinations when the alleged perpetrator disagrees with the “Preponderance of the Evidence” finding of the Children’s Division. The CFRP meets at minimum bi-annually to provide oversight and make recommendations to the Dept. of Social Services’ state technical assistance team. Additionally, local Child Fatality Review Teams meet routinely throughout the year, to review individual fatality cases. The composition of the CFRP mirrors that of the county panels: each multidisciplinary profession is represented by a recognized leader in the respective discipline.

The Task Force on Children’s Justice was established by the Children’s Division with a mission to benefit and enhance children’s lives by recommending improvement of child abuse and neglect laws, policies, programs, professional education and public awareness, and to provide funding to support these recommendations. It meets at least quarterly, and provides recommendations on an ongoing basis to the Children’s Division and to the Office of State Courts Administrator.

Montana

Contact Information Brief Description

Meaghan Kolar
Program Manager
Child and Family Services Division
406-841-2467
mkolar@mt.gov

The statewide Child and Family Services Advisory Council is acting as Montana’s Citizen Review Panel (CRP), as required by Section 106C of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). Presently, the Council is composed of 20 voluntary members who represent a broad spectrum of the communities in which they live and, among other things, have expertise in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. Members include representatives from state legislature, the legal community, local government, public health, education, foster care/adoption, mental health, hospital services, prevention services, CASA/GA, and citizens-at-large. Seven members are appointed by the Administrator of the Child and Family Services Division (CFSD) and seven members are chairs of their local Child and Family Services Advisory Councils.

The statewide Child and Family Services Advisory Council (and the Citizen Review Panel) is staffed by the Division Administrator, the Management Team (which includes the five Regional Administrators and Bureau Chiefs from the Central Office), and other administrative staff as necessary. In its capacity as the CRP, the Council will be staffed by this group and the CAN Grant Manager to assist and guide its work.

Nebraska

Contact Information Brief Description

Connie J. Pfeifer
Program Specialist
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
402-471-9245
connie.pfeifer@nebraska.gov

The Nebraska Commission for the Protection of Children serves as Nebraska’s serves as the CJA State Task Force and has an established subcommittee which acts as a Citizen Review Panel. Members of the task force are appointed by the Governor and are chosen strategically from across the state by not only their areas of expertise or interest, but also because they play major roles in the child welfare arena.

Project Everlast is a statewide, youth‐led initiative committed to providing input from young people who are being affected by foster care and the services in their community. The Project Everlast Statewide Leadership Team serves as a CRP.

The third CRP is made up of members from the Directors Subcommittee on Alternative Response (AR) and members of the public who have experience or interest in the AR process.

Nevada

Contact Information Brief Description

Hayley Jarolimek
Social Services Program Specialist
Nevada Division of Child and Family Services
702-486-4226
hjarolimek@dcfs.nv.gov
www.dcfs.state.nv.us/Link opens in a new window.

Nevada has designated five existing committees to serve as Citizens Review Panels. They include: 1) The Clark County Department of Family Services Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC); 2) the Child Death Review- Executive Committee; 3) the Differential Response Steering Committee; 4) the Children’s Justice Act Task Force; and 5) the Coalition for the Prevention of the Commercial Exploitation of Children (CSEC). All Nevada Citizen Review Panels meet quarterly and adhere to Open Meeting Law.

New Hampshire

Contact Information Brief Description

Michael Donati
Bureau of Well-Being, State of New Hampshire
Division for Children Youth and Families
603-271-8159
mdonati@dhhs.state.nh.us

In 2011, the NH CRP merged with the statutorily mandated NH DCYF Advisory Board. The purpose behind this shift was to fuse together like‐minded individuals who want to best advocate for and improve DCYF practice on a statewide level. Both committees have similar interests and the merging of these committees has served to strengthen their ability to advocate for positive change. NH DCYF continues to fully support this endeavor.

Twelve (12) members appointed through the NH Governor’s Office, NH State Senate and NH House of Representatives, with the ability to appoint additional members through the Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner’s Office and Governor and Executive Council to ensure statewide representation and a broad child welfare representation. Michael Adamkowski is the current Chairman of the NH CRP.

The combined boards set an agenda for the year and meet monthly to carry out the agenda. The board focused on the following areas in 2015:

  • DCYF Case Practice Review process
  • DCYF Certification process for community‐based and residential providers
  • Annual retreat and tour of the Sununu Youth Services Center (NH’s youth detention center)
  • A Panel member served on the Governor’s commission that review and advised on services for at‐risk youth
  • The Panel reviewed service array concerns and spent time reviewing programming alternatives for female youth in care, with a focus on residential services for females in care.

New Jersey

Contact Information Brief Description

Daniel Yale
609-777-7908
daniel.yale@dcf.state.nj.us
nj.gov/dcf/providers/boards/njtfcanLink opens in a new window.

The New Jersey Department of Children and Families established the citizen review panels described below in 2010.

New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect
This task force, comprised of 29 members, studies and develops recommendations to improve the quality and scope of child protective and preventative services provided or supported by state government.

Staffing and Oversight Review Subcommittee
This subcommittee reviews staffing levels and makes recruitment, hiring, and retention recommendations. It reviews department performance and issues an annual report.

New Jersey Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board
This board reviews child fatalities and near fatalities to identify their causes, relationship to support systems, and methods of prevention.

New Mexico

Contact Information Brief Description

Shelly A. Bucher, LMSW
New Mexico Citizen Review Board
575-646-1277
sbucher@nmsu.edu
www.nmcrb.orgLink opens in a new window.

The New Mexico Citizen Review Board (CRB) was established in 1983 through state statute with the purpose to provide a permanent system for independent and objective monitoring of children in the custody of the state through a collaborative effort of a State Advisory Committee (SAC), a contractor with expertise in substitute child care and the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA). The SAC is comprised of a representative from each local board and 3 appointed pubic members appointed by DFA. Twenty-six (boards) are organized by Judicial Districts and meet monthly to review case information and provide a report to the court on individual children. SAC provides an annual report to the state legislature, state child protection agency (Children, Youth and Families Department-CYFD) and the courts on recommendations for statutes, policies and procedures relating to children in substitute care.

New York

Contact Information Brief Description

Jennifer Goldman
Citizen Review Panel Coordinator
Welfare Research, Inc.
518-713-4726 x206
www.citizenreviewpanelsny.orgLink opens in a new window.

New York has three independent Citizen Review Panels which began their work in 2000. The New York City panel covers the five boroughs of New York City. The Western Panel region covers a 17 county area in the western part of the state. The Eastern Panel region covers the remaining 40 counties, including Long Island.

Each Panel has 13 members, seven of which are appointed by the Executive office, three appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly and three appointed by the President Pro Tem of the Senate. The three panels meet in the fall for a joint Panel meeting to discuss their annual report and recommendations.

Reports

North Carolina

Contact Information Brief Description

Deborah Day
Community Based Programs Administrator
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
Child Welfare Services Section
North Carolina Division of Social Services
919-527-6436
deborah.day@dhhs.nc.gov
www.ncdhhs.govLink opens in a new window.

North Carolina’s Community Child Protection Teams (CCPT) were established in 1991 and in 1997 the CCPTs were designated as Citizen Review Panels (CRP). North Carolina has 100 county CCPTs and 6 regional CCPTs. The CCPT is an interdisciplinary group of community representatives and citizens-at-large, who meet to promote a community-wide approach to child abuse, neglect and dependency through collaboration and advocacy. CCPTs, established as a community partner in child protection, changed the community’s perception that child protection is the sole responsibility of the Department of Social Services and is indeed, the responsibility of all citizens.

Each CCPT has a Chairperson responsible for assisting the team members in meeting the CCPT requirements as defined in federal and state law. Annually each team reports to the Board of County Commissioners the status of child well-being in the county. The teams also complete an end-of-year report that is used to develop the State’s End-of-Year Report.

North Dakota

Contact Information Brief Description

Marlys Baker
Child Protection Services Administrator
North Dakota Department of Human Services
701-328-1853
mbaker@nd.gov

North Dakota has had a Child Fatality Review Panel since 1996, which served as the Citizen Review Committee until December, 2005. Beginning in October of 2005, North Dakota changed the makeup of the Citizen Review Committee (CRC). The base for this group are appointed members from each region in the state, representing members of the county multi-disciplinary teams. In addition, the CPS Task Force, made up of social workers, social work supervisors, regional supervisors, training center staff, central office staff and private non-profit agency staff, is a part of the CRC.

Ohio

Contact Information Brief Description

Deanna Herold, MS
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Office of Families and Children
Child Protection Section
614-387-8097
deanna.herold@jfs.ohio.gov
SCFRACLink opens in a new window.
Stark County Juvenile Court CRBLink opens in a new window.

Ohio is in transition with the citizen review panel (CRP) initiative. Ohio is in the final stages of developing a request for proposal to solicit a vendor to develop and coordinate three new CRP’s. Currently, Ohio fulfills the CAPTA requirement with the Stark County Family Court Citizen Review Board (CRB) and two statewide groups, Statewide Child Fatality Review Advisory Committee (SCFRAC) and Overcoming Hurdles in Ohio Youth Advisory Board (OHIO YAB).

The SCFRAC is statutorily authorized and was established in 2002. The mission of SCFRAC is to reduce the incidence of preventable deaths in Ohio. The SCFRAC receives reports from each county child fatality review team regarding each child fatality case that is reviewed by the local child fatality review team. The report completed during case reviews examines what specific changes the team believes should occur to prevent other deaths and keep children safe, healthy and protected. Additionally, the report requests specific recommendations and/or actions that resulted from the case review. This includes the development of new policies, revised policies, new programs, new services, and expanded services.

The OHIO YAB is a statewide organization of young people, age 14-23, who have experienced foster care. The organization has been in operation since July 2006. Their mission is to be the knowledgeable statewide youth voice that influences policies and practices that effect all youth who have or will experience out of home care. Currently, coordination of and funding for OHIO YAB’s CRP activities are provided through the Ohio CASA/GAL Association (CASA) contract to develop a Youth Strategic Sharing Training. The training is designed to prepare youth to make good choices when sharing their personal experiences so that their voices can be heard, their message is effective, and their well-being is protected. This structure enabled OHIO YAB to expand their outreach and engage more youth statewide, increase their adult participation and give them a stronger voice with their legal representatives.

The Stark County Juvenile Court operates a CRB. The CRB monitors implementation of case plan objectives and timeframes for permanency for children who have been adjudicated as abused, neglected and/or dependent. In addition, the board monitors the number of contacts the caseworker has with a child and his/her parents, the involvement of the parent in the development of the case plan, and parental participation in semi‐annual reviews. The board also collaborates with the local public children services agency and CASA/Guardian Ad Litem program.

Oklahoma

Contact Information Brief Description

Lisa Rhoades
Oklahoma Child Death Review Board
405-606-4900
lisa.rhoades@occy.ok.gov
www.ok.gov/occyLink opens in a new window.

Oklahoma’s Child Death Review Board was established in 1991. The program has an annual budget of $122,632.00 that is funded by the Oklahoma Commission on Children.

Funding for the program is year-to-year. The program is housed at the Oklahoma Commis- sion on Children and Youth (OCCY) and our budget is state appropriated and is a part of OCCY’s agency budget. There are two employees for both the state and local level. Oklaho- ma CDR also administers the Citizen’s Review Panel.

Oregon

Contact Information Brief Description

Amy Benedum, J.D.
Oregon CRP Coordinator & Program Analyst, Juvenile and Family Court Programs Division
Oregon Judicial Department
503-986-5644
amy.e.benedum@ojd.state.or.us
courts.oregon.gov/CRBLink opens in a new window.

The Oregon Judicial Department has 67 Citizen Review Boards (CRBs) across the state. As of September 2012, the Department of Human Services entered into an agreement with the CRB to transfer the responsibility for ensuring compliance with CAPTA grant requirements that the State maintain a minimum of three citizen review panels (CRPs) to the CRB. The CRB established three county-wide CRPs in Douglas, Lane, and Multnomah counties. The volunteer board members from CRBs in the three counties, along with judges, agency staff, former foster youth, lawyers, CASAs, foster parents, and other stakeholders in each community, come together as the CRPs. A statewide CRP Coordinator, who also works as a CRB Field Manager, works with the local CRB staff and volunteer board members in each of the three panel counties to support and coordinate the CRP specific activities (i.e. quarterly CRP meetings, local meetings with stakeholder groups, data gathering and analysis, public forum coordination, and report drafting).

Reports

Pennsylvania

Contact Information Brief Description

Bonnie Watson, MSW, LSW
CAPTA Program Development Specialist
University of Pittsburgh’s Child Welfare Resource Center
717-795-9048
bjw65@pitt.edu
www.pacwrc.pitt.edu/CAPTA.htmLink opens in a new window.

In 2010, three Citizen Review Panels were established in Pennsylvania. Support for the panels is provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS), Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) and the University of Pittsburgh’s Child Welfare Resource Center.

The structure of Pennsylvania’s Citizen Review Panels is best described by highlighting three key points.

  • Panel Members Are Volunteers — Recruitment efforts extend well beyond the stakeholders traditionally gathered at state and county child welfare decision‐making tables. There is an emphasis on recruiting persons who truly can serve in a volunteer capacity and with a “citizen” perspective.
  • Panels Are Independent — Panels are not assigned topic areas to evaluate; rather they can examine any policies, practices and procedures as long as they relate to state and local child protective services system agencies and their effectiveness in discharging child protection responsibilities. The panels’ recommendations, along with the Department of Human Services’ responses, are published in their entirety annually. Links to past Annual Child Abuse Reports in which the CRPs’ recommendations are contained can be found here: www.dhs.pa.gov/publications/childabusereports/.
  • Panels Are Regional — Pennsylvania’s child welfare system is one of 13 states that operates as state‐supervised but county‐administered. To support this structure, panels are regionally located and membership reflects the diversity of Pennsylvania’s counties in each region. This allows for the development of county‐specific solutions to address the strengths and needs of families and their communities but does not prohibit panels from addressing statewide concerns. Pennsylvania is mandated to have at least three panels across the state.

Puerto Rico

Contact Information Brief Description

Mr. Carlos Rivera Otero
Auxiliary Administrator of Protection Services
Principal Coordinator of the Puerto Rico Citizen Review Panel

787-625-4900 x1725
carlos.rivera@familia.pr.gov

Puerto Rico has two Citizen Review Panels which were initiated in 2007. These panels are organized in the Caguas and Aguadilla Region. In addition we have a Death Review Panel, which is going to serve as our third Citizen Review Panel.

Rhode Island

Contact Information Brief Description

C. Lee Baker, MPA, MA
Office of the Director
Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families
401-528-3837
lee.baker@dcyf.ri.gov

The Citizen Review Panel provides a coordinated, multidisciplinary forum to review cases of suspected abuse and/or neglect reported to the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), the State agency responsible for investigating such cases. The CRP meets on a weekly basis and is chaired by a lead physician at the Child Protection Program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. The Panel provides recommendations to the Department based on the case reviews.

South Carolina

Contact Information Brief Description

Anne Elizabeth Burnett
Interim Coordinator
South Carolina Citizen Review Panels
803-777-9400
lambae@mailbox.sc.edu
sccrp.sc.eduLink opens in a new window.

South Carolina has three all-volunteer Citizen Review Panels dedicated to reviewing the policies, procedures, and practices of the Child Protective Services system. These panels are located in the Lowcountry, Midlands and Upstate areas of the state and work both independently and collaboratively on child welfare issues. The panel utilizes a communicative involved approach with the state child welfare agency to resolve issues and concerns that impact the safety, well-being and permanence of abused and neglected children.

South Dakota

Contact Information Brief Description

JoLynn Bostrom
Program Specialist
Child Protection Services
Department of Social Services
605-773-3227
jolynn.bostrom@state.sd.us
www.dss.sd.gov/cpsLink opens in a new window.

South Dakota has one Citizen Review Panel, which was started as an independent panel in July, 1999. The Panel covers the entire state of South Dakota.

The Children’s Justice Act (CJS) Task Force, now called Working Together for Children Justice Committee (WTFCJC), combined with the Citizen’s Review Panel (CRP) in July of 2005 to facilitate coordination of effort.

Tennessee

Contact Information Brief Description

Toni Lawal, MS
University of Tennessee
College of Social Work
Office of Research & Public Services
615-782-6122
tlawal@utk.edu

Tennessee has four (4) regional Citizen Review Panels. The four (4) panels are located in Memphis (West TN), Montgomery County (Clarksville- Mid- Cumberland Region), Chattanooga (Hamilton County) and the Northwest Region of Ten- nessee which includes nine rural counties.

Each Panel has a Chairperson who is responsible for facilitating meetings and ensuring that panel members follow through with their goals. Each spring, a statewide meeting is held to review previous year information, to discuss “lessons learned” and to develop recommenda- tions for the state child welfare agency. The 2015 Statewide CRP Meeting was attended by the Deputy Commissioner of the Department Children’s Services and other Child Protective Services senior staff. At this meeting, the Deputy Commissioners shared some of the State’s successes and challenges.

Reports

Texas

Contact Information Brief Description

Valinda Bolton, MS
Department of Family & Protective Services
512-438-3303
valinda.bolton@dfps.state.tx.us
www.dfps.state.tx.us/
Child_Protection/CRT/
default.aspLink opens in a new window.

Texas currently has five federally mandated CAPTA teams. In addi- tion, there are seven other active Citizen Review Teams (CRT’s) operating in Texas and five additional teams in the stage of re-building after some inactivity, for a total of seventeen teams. Three CAPTA teams focus on issues surrounding disproportionality.

Each team is coordinated by an employee of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

Utah

Contact Information Brief Description

Carol Miller
State of Utah-Division of Child and Family Services
MASOB
801-538-4100
carolmiller@utah.gov
www.utah.gov/pmn/ index.htmlLink opens in a new window.

There are six Citizen Quality Improvement Committees across the state of Utah. They review data and other information about the child welfare system. Their goal is to study issues of concern to such a degree that they can provide recommendations for improvement. These committees also serve as advocates for the needs of the system, including the need for recognition and improved employee morale. The citizens bring an outside perspective to a very complicated and large system.

The reporting of the activities of these committees are posted on the website.

Vermont

Data coming soon.

Virginia

Contact Information Brief Description

Christopher R. Spain, MPA
CPS Program Manager, Divison of Family Services
Virginia Department of Social Services
804-726-7554
www.dss.virginia.govLink opens in a new window.

Virginia has three Citizen Review Panels:

  • Child Abuse Committee of the Family & Children’s Trust Fund
  • State Child Fatality Review Team
  • Children’s Justice Act/Court Appointed Special Advocate Committee (CJA/CASA)

Washington

Contact Information Brief Description

Stephanie Frazier
CPS & FVS Program Manager
Division of Program & Policy
Children’s Administration
360-902-7922
frazism@dshs.wa.gov

Washington has three Citizen Review Panels: the Children, Youth & Family Services Advisory Committee, the Region 2 Oversight Committee and the Indian Policy Advisory Committee—Indian Child Welfare Subcommittee.

The Children, Youth & Family Services Advisory Committee has been an advisory committee to Children’s Administration since the early 1980s and a CRP since 1999. It is made up of volunteer representatives from across the state with expert knowledge and experience in child welfare and meets a minimum of six times per year.

The Region 2 Oversight Committee has been meeting since 1986, formed in response to passage of a Washington law in 1983 for a provision for local volunteer oversight groups. In 1999 the committee volunteered to serve as one of Washington CRPs

Indian Policy Advisory Committee—Indian Child Welfare Subcommittee has been meeting for at least 15 years and recently agreed to participate as Washington’s 3rd CRP. This group is charged reviewing policies, procedures and legislative bills associated with Children’s Administration and making recommendations on their development and final drafts. It is also a venue for tribes to provide information such as changes to tribal codes and laws, changes in tribal leadership and line staff, voicing concerns about child abuse and neglect issues and sharing information and resources.

West Virginia

Contact Information Brief Description

Misty Prillaman
Health and Human Resources Specialist, Senior
304-256-6930, x56614
mistyd.prillaman@wv.gov

The West Virginia Citizen Review Panel is comprised of individuals representing a diverse mix of concerns, interests and professions. The panel meets on a quarterly basis in a centralized location that is easily accessible for everyone.

Wisconsin

Contact Information Brief Description

Paula L. Brown, MSW, APSW
Prevention Initiatives Coordinator
State of Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
Division of Safety and Permanence
608-422-6960
dcf.wisconsin.gov/
prevention/crpLink opens in a new window.

Wisconsin has eight citizen review panels. Seven panels are county based, located in Marathon, Outagamie, Langlade, Jefferson, St. Croix, Polk and Milwaukee Counties. The Foster Youth Advisory Council is a statewide panel whose membership consists of former foster care youth.

Wyoming

Contact Information Brief Description

Erin Swilling
Executive Director
Wyoming Citizen Review Panel
307-632-0032
eswilling@wycrp.org
www.wycrp.orgLink opens in a new window.

The Wyoming Citizen Review Panel began in the 1990s as a panel within the Wyoming Department of Family Services. In 2004, it was reorganized as a private not profit organization with membership from around the state. Wyoming, due to its population of only 500,000 is allowed to only operate with one state citizen review panel.

From the 12-18 person membership a 4 member executive committee is elected; 1 executive director is a full time employee.

CRP Resources & Publications

Browse the links below to learn more about the role of citizen review panels, updates on state CRP activities, and strategies for success.

State Reports

  • Annual reports for each state are available on the CRP Google Drive. View the ReportsLink opens in a new window.

CRP Tip Sheets

Citizen Connections Newsletter

Webinars

National CRP Directory

Additional information on CRPs is available on the Child Welfare Information GatewayLink opens in a new window..