What are Citizen Review Panels?

Citizen Review Panels (CRPs) were established by federal statute and implemented in 1996 as part of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) requirement for states to receive federal grant funding. California and most states are required to have a minimum of three (3) independent CRPs. The California Department of Social Services’ (CDSS) Office of Child Abuse Prevention provides oversight, technical assistance and funding allocations for CRPs.

Facilitated by CFPIC, CRP members work alongside other concerned citizens, parents, former foster youth and foster parents, and experts in the field all interested in improving the child welfare system. CRPs examine child welfare policies, practices, and procedures and assess the extent to which state and local child welfare agencies are discharging their obligations. Recommendations for improvement are then made annually to CDSS.

Who can serveon Citizen Review Panels?

CRP members may consist of former recipients of social services, foster parents, child welfare services professionals, court-appointed special advocates, children’s attorneys, educators, representatives of tribal governments and county public health and mental health agency staff, law enforcement officials, and other interested parties.

Current Citizen Review Panels

There are three existing Citizen Review Panels that advise the CDSS on ways that services can be improved on behalf of California’s most vulnerable children and their families. The specific focus of the three panels is as follows:

  1. Prevention of child abuse and neglect
  2. Children and Family Services
  3. Critical incidents (child fatalities and near fatalities as a result of abuse or neglect)

Each CRP meets regularly (either in person or virtually) to review topics related to their area of focus. Recommendations for improvement are reported to CDSS annually. The California Department of Social Services will utilize the annual report to address whether or how the state will incorporate the recommendations of the CRPs to make measurable progress in improving the state child welfare services system.

Links

CDSS page on CRPs

View More

CRP Orientation Presentation

View More