Call for Abstracts

Please note: The deadline for submitting abstracts has passed.

Download the Abstract Submission Form

Alaska Citizen Review Panel and the National CRP Advisory Board are inviting abstracts for presentations at the 16th National Citizen Review Panel Conference in Anchorage, Alaska. Citizens Review Panels (CRP) are groups of citizen-volunteers, federally mandated to review their state and local child protective services (CPS) agency. This conference attracts a diverse audience, including CRP volunteers, staff, CPS personnel, researchers and professionals from child welfare, public administration, and other allied fields.

Please read the following carefully before submitting your proposal.

CRPs enable public participation in child protection policy and practice. United States Congress intended CRPs to “provide new opportunities for citizens--not just child protection bureaucrats--to play an integral role in ensuring that States are meeting their goals of protecting children from abuse and neglect.” There are more than 340 CRPs across the nation, at least one in each state, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. CRPs assist their respective state and local CPS systems to be more responsive to community needs through review of child protection policy, practice, and procedures; extensive public outreach; and advocacy.

CRPs provide a unique opportunity for public participation in addressing child welfare, with evaluation and outreach as their primary functions.

A successful CRP enterprise requires deep and committed relationship with its CPS agency – one that facilitates prolonged and effective collaboration. Evidence from across the country shows that cultivating this relationship is among the most daunting challenges facing a CRP. Despite hard work to improve their relationships through formal agreements, mutual recognition events, deeper involvement with each other, and recognizing the common goals they share, CRPs and the CPS agencies often find themselves pursuing different paths.

The 2017 National CRP Conference will explore various challenges and opportunities to finding common ground and fostering constructive CRP-CPS relationships. The conference theme, “Common Goals, Many Paths,” is a recognition that shared goals may not always mean shared understanding of those goals, and that collaborative relationships and constructive dialogue help in finding common ground.

The conference invites proposals that relate to one or more of the following areas:

  • Structure: CRPs are mechanisms for public participation through review and outreach. Designing an effective CRP can be quite challenging due to: (1) diverse perspectives or objectives; (2) differences in sense of time or urgency of an issue; or (3) other structural and operational factors. Outreach to all stakeholders can be a very extensive process. This track explores various models of citizen participation in government relevant to the CRP enterprise—either review, outreach, or both--by volunteer citizens in collaboration with a government agency.

  • Process: CRP’s broad mandate requires multiple channels of collaboration between the CRP and the CPS agency, at various levels – goal setting, sharing information, understanding the context of practice, identifying gaps, and crafting recommendations. This track explores various ways citizen groups may collaborate with CPS agencies or other government agencies at various stages.

  • Accountability: Accountability is fundamental to any relationship. Mechanisms to enforce mutual accountability at various levels are key to a long-term collaborative relationship. Identifying and clarifying mutual roles of citizens (or citizen groups) and government agencies, specifying mutual responsibilities, and providing respectful but effective mutual oversight are some of the key elements in ensuring mutual accountability. This track explores ways that citizen participation exercises and citizen review exercises can ensure mutual accountability.

  • Child welfare topics: While CRPs review CPS agencies, there are many related topics of which they should be aware and have a working knowledge. These sessions provide the opportunity to learn about other topics such as trauma, family engagement, substance abuse, and child fatalities, etc.

Proposals must be practice-oriented, with suggestions for CRPs. Presentations may describe experiences with citizen reviews, or may be empirical research, theoretical frameworks, policy or advocacy proposals, best practices, or work of or about one or more CRPs across the nation. Relevance to the conference and originality of the content will be a primary criteria for acceptance.


Accepted formats:

  1. Presentations: These are 45 minutes long. One or more presenters can present. The primary presenter submitting the proposal is responsible for coordinating with other co-presenters. You are encouraged to provide handouts and any additional materials for your audience.

  2. Workshops: These are short (45 minutes) workshops. The topic should be well defined, and should be completed within the time. You can continue to communicate with your audience beyond the conference, and build a community of practice around your topic. The primary presenter submitting the proposal is responsible for coordinating with other co-presenters. You are encouraged to provide handouts, and any additional materials for your audience. Workshops must identify at least one learning objective.

  3. Panel discussions: These are 45 mins long. A coordinator should lead the panel, and is responsible for identifying panel members and organizing the discussion. The primary presenter submitting the proposal is responsible for coordinating with other panelists. You are encouraged to provide handouts and any additional materials for your audience.

The conference attracts a diverse audience, with a variety of professional backgrounds and differing levels of understanding of CPS systems, public participation, or other related topics. Please indicate in your proposal how you plan to deliver your presentation--specifically any demonstrations of practical application, role-playing, etc. Interactive sessions are preferred. The Conference will attempt to provide opportunities for attendees to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

To submit your proposal, please complete the attached form and email it to no later than December 16, 2016, 11:59 PM EST.

Download the Abstract Submission Form

Download a printable version of the Call for Abstracts