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Keeping Your Panels Afloat History and Best Practices


Seventh Annual National Citizen Review Panel Conference Keeping children safe ... Provide an Overview of History, Mandates and Models of Citizen Review Panels ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Keeping Your Panels Afloat History and Best Practices

Keeping Your Panels AfloatHistory and Best
  • Blake L. Jones, PhD
  • Kentucky Citizen Review Panels
  • Anita Keyes
  • Minnesota Citizen Review Panels
  • The River Rushes On
  • Seventh Annual National Citizen Review Panel
    Conference Keeping children safe from abuse and
  • St. Paul, Minnesota
  • May 21, 22, 23, 2008

Never doubt that a small, dedicated group of
citizens can make a difference. Indeed, it is
the only thing that ever has..
Margaret Mead
Our Presentation will..
  • Provide an Overview of History, Mandates and
    Models of Citizen Review Panels
  • Discuss Best Practices

We are.
  • Program Coordinators
  • Researchers
  • Mistake-makers
  • Learners
  • Sharers.

Lets Review the History of CRPs
Historical Context of Citizen Review Panels
  • 1970s-90s Concern over child fatalities in
    open cases, children languishing in foster
    care, children returned to unsafe home
  • A call across the country for increased
    accountability in the child protection system
  • Development of Foster Care Review Boards
  • Increased Citizen Oversight since 1960s (not
    just in public child welfare)

Origins of Citizen Review Panels
  • 1974 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment
  • Requires submission of a state plan detailing
    compliance in order to obtain state child abuse
    and neglect grant, including
  • Child abuse and neglect reporting system
  • Provision of protective services
  • Confidentiality

  • By allowing the Panels to have complete access
    to child protection cases, by requiring Panels to
    publicize their findings, and by requiring states
    to respond to criticisms and recommendations of
    the Panels, the Committee intends to subject
    states to public criticism and political
    repercussion if they fail to protect children
  • House report 104-081, p. 1

1996 CAPTA Reauthorization
  • Public disclosure in cases resulting in a
    fatality or near fatality
  • Mechanisms to ensure that the State does not
    require reunification of a child with a parent
    who has been found guilty of killing another
  • Conviction of these crimes is a ground for
    termination of parental rights (TPR) of surviving

1996 CAPTA Reauthorization
  • Expedited TPR for abandoned infants
  • And
  • Establishment of
  • Citizen Review Panels!

Establishment of Citizen Review Panels
  • 3 panels per state by July, 1999 (some only
    needed one)
  • Each panel has the responsibility to review
    compliance of state and local CPS agencies with
    respect to
  • state CAPTA plan (basically ANY child protective
  • Other criteria the panel considers important,
    which may include coordination with foster care
    and adoption programs and review of child
    fatalities and near fatalities

Requirements for Citizen Review Panels
  • Composed of volunteer members that
  • are broadly representative of the community in
    which they are operating
  • include individuals with expertise in the
    prevention and treatment of child abuse and
  • Meet at least quarterly
  • Examine policies and procedures and, where
    appropriate, specific cases of both state and
    local agencies
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Prepare an annual report with activities and

Requirements from CAPTA Reauthorization (2003)
  • Evaluate PRACTICES as well as policy and
  • Develop a means for public comment
  • Child welfare agency is to respond in writing to
    annual report within six months (KY responds
    within three months)

Panels Can Examine Any of the Following Parts of
the CPS System
  • Intake and initial screening
  • Investigation and/or assessment
  • Case determination
  • Service planing, implementation, and monitoring
  • Case closure
  • Crisis intervention Emergency placement Family
  • Coordination of services
  • Staff qualifications, training and workload

What should the state agencies have in place
(CAPTA Compliances)?
  • Reporting procedures
  • Screening and investigation
  • Child safety steps
  • Immunity for good faith reporting
  • Confidentiality of records
  • Public disclosure in fatalities and near
  • Expedited TPR
  • Cooperation of law enforcement, courts and state
    CPS agencies
  • Expungement of records available to public
  • Appointment of guardians ad litem
  • Appeal of findings
  • Provisions not requiring reunification in certain

HOW Can a Panel Review these Things?
  • In-depth review of a small number of cases
  • Broader review of cases
  • Analysis of statewide data systems
  • Review of agency policy and procedures
  • Targeted Surveys
  • Quality assurance reviews
  • Community forums
  • Focus groups or interviews of staff, consumers,
    service providers, mandated reporters, foster
    parents, others
  • Others?

The Intent vs. the Reality
Examples of Models of CRP in U.S.
  • Created new panels (KY, Tenn.)
  • gt contract with Universities, other
    governmental agencies
  • Used existing panels (i.e., child fatality review
    boards, regional or county QA teams, Childrens
    Justice Act panels, Governors task force teams).
    This appears common.
  • Hybrid (create new panels, but coordinate with
    larger group of existing panels)
  • Some statesMaryland, for example--have long
    history of citizen review panels.
  • Some states have many Citizen Review Panels
    (NC, AL)

Common Themes and Challenges
  • CRP coordinated by someone from state child
    welfare agency
  • Struggle with diverse membership and involving
  • Trouble in defining the mission and outcomes of
    CRP (watchdog vs. advocate). What are
    Panels impact?
  • Retention of members
  • Turnover in state agency (i.e., new
  • Difficulty in connecting with Child and Family
    Services Review

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Stages of Grief and State
Reactions to CRPs
  • Denial (this isn't happening to me!)
  • Anger (why is this happening to me?)
  • Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person
    (agency) if...)
  • Depression (I don't care anymore)
  • Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)

What have these Panels done?
Examples of Recommendations Made in CRP Annual
  • Minimum education for a CPS worker should be a
    Bachelors degree in social work, psychology,
    education, etc. (NY)
  • Implementation of user-friendly training for
    mandated reporters (MN)
  • Do not use children as interpreters during CPS
    investigations (AZ)
  • Develop an Ombudsman system through an
    independent agency (WV)
  • More funding for child welfare system in order to
    hire more caseworkers in compliance with CWLA
    standards (OK)

The Kentucky Experience
The Kentucky Experience
  • Began in July, 1999
  • Full time program coordinator (through contract
    with University of Kentucky)
  • 5 regional Panels
  • Over 80 volunteers
  • Money for travel, training, food for meetings
  • Meet monthly

Areas of Focus for Kentucky CRPs
  • Uniformity of child fatality reviews
  • Worker training regarding methamphetamine
  • Flow of case information from school system, law
    enforcement, mental health professionals to child
  • Disproportion of minority children in out of home
  • Process of sexual abuse investigations
  • Review of case closure criteria
  • Services for foster children who are ageing out

Research on Citizen Review Panels
  • Jones, B. L. (2004) Variables Impacting the
    Effectiveness of Citizens Review Panels For Child
    Protective Services A Multi-state Study Children
    and Youth Services Review
  • Jones, B.L. , Litzelfelner, P. Ford, J.P.
    (2003) Making a Change or Making a Report
    Change Perceptions of Citizens Review Panel
    Members and Child Protective Workers. Child Abuse
    Neglect The International Journal., (27)
  • Jones, B.L. Royse, D (in press, Child Welfare).
    Citizen Review Panels A National Profile.
  • Jones, B.L. Royse, D. (under review).
    Correlation of Training and Perceived
    Effectiveness in Citizen Review Panels.
  • Bryan, V., Jones, B.L., Allen, E.
    Collins-Camargo, C.. (under review). Civic
    Engagement or Token Participation? Perceived
    Impact of the Citizen Review Panel Initiative in
    a Rural Southern State

The national scene
  • Congress mandated a national study of CRP
    effectiveness in 2006. Feasibility Study is in
    the beginning stages and will be completed in
  • National Citizens Review Panel Virtual Community
  • Seventh Annual Citizens Review Panel Conference,
    St. Paul, Minnesota May 21-23, 2008. (Have been
    held in Kentucky and North Carolina previously.)
  • Technical assistance provided through National
    Resource Center on Child Protective Services

Best Practices
Why involve citizens?
  • Increase community understanding, ownership and
    investment in protecting children from abuse and
  • Bring community standards for the protection of
    children into the child protection system (CPS).
  • Provide valuable insights those working within
    the system may miss.
  • Provide outside validation of the successes and
    the efforts of the staff.
  • Provide public outreach to assess the impact of
    child protection services.
  • Advocate for needed resources to protect
  • Promote cooperation among community resources and
    the CPS.
  • Make recommendations to improve the child
    protection system.
  • Keep children safe from abuse and neglect..

Keeping Children Safe
  • The safety, permanency and well-being
  • of all children
  • will be achieved when
  • everyday citizens invest
  • themselves in community
  • services and child protection.

  • The administration and decision-makers
  • Make sure they are aware and supportive of a
    Citizen Review Panel.
  • Stake-holders and members of the community
  • Make sure they are informed about the role of the
  • Make sure they have input into how the CRP will
  • Staff who work in the child protection system
  • Make sure they understand the role of the CRP.
  • Make sure they understand their role with the
  • Make sure they are willing to facilitate the work
    of the citizens.

Accessible and Available
  • Citizen Review Panel members must be able to
  • reach staff. At least one consistent child
  • staff member should be assigned to serve as a
  • liaison to the CRP. Their role includes
  • Attending panel meetings
  • Providing information requested
  • Representing the agency at the panel meetings

  • Administration and staff must be willing to
    listen and
  • Bring citizens into planning.Find out regional
    concerns of citizens.Assure communication of
    concerns.Get reactions to alternative
    proposals.Develop and implement solutions.Keep
    citizens informed.
  • Source Community Involvement - Is Anybody

  • The responses of the agency must be
  • Timely
  • Meaningful
  • Friendly
  • Thorough
  • Understandable

Facilitating the work of the Citizen Review Panel
  • Best practices entails effective
  • volunteer management,
  • or a preferred term
  • effective volunteer facilitation.

Effective volunteer facilitation components
Eight points to consider in staffing a committee
or panel
  • Be sure participants have clear understanding of
  • Define the parameters for decision-making and
  • Provide appropriate guidance and education.
  • Supply whatever resources are required to get the
    job done.
  • Capitalize on members experience and areas of
  • Set reasonable deadlines.
  • Seek win-win solutions for resolving conflicts.
  • Provide participants with positive feedback.
  • Source Committee Is Not a Four-Letter Word, by
    Deborah W. Flores,
  • The Toastmaster, June 2001

Must be in place before you begin to recruit
  • Policies and procedures manual (bylaws)
  • Ongoing recruiting system, timeline and materials
  • Screening criteria, process and forms
  • Interviewing procedures and forms
  • Orientation curricula and manual
  • Meeting and panel members records administration
    and procedures
  • Ongoing support system for panels
  • Formal and informal recognition of panel members

Minnesotas Citizen Review Panels
  • Tool Kits

Citizen Review Panel Tool Kits
  • Procedures Tool Kit
  • This kit includes definitions, objectives, and
  • procedures. Access to data and the relationship
    of the
  • panels with other agencies is included as well as
  • Minnesota statute 256.01, subd.15, Citizen Review
  • Panels.
  • Publicity Tool Kit
  • Included in this kit are sample news releases,
  • service announcements and how to organize a press
  • conference.

Citizen Review Panel Tool Kits
  • Application Tool Kit
  • The application tool kit includes packet samples
    to send to those
  • interested in being on the citizen review panel
    cover letter, application
  • and a Volunteer Citizen Review Panel Member Job
  • Recruiting and Screening Tool Kit
  • and the Interview Tool Kit
  • Forms used to recruit and screen citizen review
    panel members are in
  • these kits. They include an application, a
    sample Tennessen Warning,
  • the applicants interview questions, the
    interviewers questions and a
  • score sheet. Other screening tools include sample
    reference letters,
  • criminal records and maltreatment records
    releases, a Citizen Review
  • Panel Agreement, a Confidentiality Agreement and
    a meeting sign-in
  • sheet.

Citizen Review Panel Tool Kits
  • Orientation Tool Kit
  • This kit contains information about the initial
  • review panel orientation training offered by the
  • Minnesota Department of Human Services. Topics
  • addressed in the initial training and in
  • the Citizen Review Panel Training Manual are
  • included. Contents of the video tapes used are
  • mentioned. Ongoing training specific to the
    county is
  • suggested.

Citizen Review Panel Tool Kits
  • Confidentiality Tool Kit
  • Recognizing that confidentiality is extremely
  • a kit was developed to address this. It contains
  • an excerpt from the Minnesota Citizen Review
  • Operating Procedures, Access to Data. It also
  • contains three forms Citizen Review Panel
  • Agreement Relating to Protected Nonpublic and
  • Confidential Data, State of Minnesota Citizen
  • Panel Agreement and a meeting sign-in-sheet that
  • reminds panel members they may not disclose
  • confidential information.

Citizen Review Panel Tool Kits
  • Meeting Tool Kit / Administrative Tasks Tool Kit
  • These kits give panel members tips for conducting
  • participating in successful meetings.
  • Report Writing Tool Kit
  • An annual report is required for Minnesotas
  • Review Panels. This kit is designed to minimize
  • time and maximize the efforts in documenting the
  • of the panels. Planning forms and sample report
  • formats are included.

Citizen Review Panel Tool Kits
  • Expenses Reimbursement Tool Kit
  • This tool kit spells out our procedures for
  • reimbursement of expenses incurred
  • related to panel activities.
  • Planning Tool Kit
  • This tool kit was developed to assist the panels
  • plan and prioritize where and how they will
  • focus their efforts, time and resources.

On-going support
  • Provide staff support.
  • Citizens are expected to evaluate very large
  • welfare systems. This means gathering reports,
    looking through policy manuals, talking to
    staff, etc. Citizen Review Panels simply cannot
    do their work without a dedicated staff person
    who assists them with such tasks as obtaining
    information, recruiting new members, arranging
    meetings and preparing reports.
  • Source Dr. Blake Jones, Friends Fact Sheet 1,
    Citizen Review Panels

On-going training
  • Provide information and ongoing training
  • Research in this area consistently identifies
    training as
  • a crucial variable to making citizen advisory
  • effective. Citizen Review Panel members should be
  • exposed to a variety of speakers, videos, case
  • presentations from frontline workers, and other
  • information.
  • Source Dr. Blake Jones, Friends Fact Sheet 1,
    Citizen Review Panels

  • Provide formal recognition.
  • Respond to their recommendations in writing and
    let them know when and how they will be
    implemented. If they will not be implemented, let
    them know why.
  • Gather them for formal recognition, training and
    net-working events.
  • Some people appreciate certificates, letters of
    recommendation, articles about their
    accomplishments in local newspapers and on local
    news programs, plaques and other awards.
  • Invite them to training with others in the child
    protection system.
  • Give them notebooks, brief cases, pins or other
    items that they can use for CRP tasks.

  • Dont forget to provide informal recognition.
  • Attend to human needs. Remember that people like
  • to be told thank you and to be fed at meetings.
  • may seem simple, but very small things like
  • lunch meetings for your volunteers or paying for
  • to attend conferences goes a long way in
  • building.
  • Source Dr. Blake Jones, Friends Fact Sheet 1,
    Citizen Review Panels

  • A best practices goal is to retain the citizens
  • who have been successfully recruited,
  • screened, trained, and are invested in
  • protecting children.
  • A clear mission, meaningful work, open
  • communication, implementation of
  • recommendations and a solid infrastructure
  • will help make this possible.

Keeping children safe
  • The bottom-line goal is to facilitate the work of
    the citizens so changes needed to improve the
    child protective services system are made and
  • kids in our communities
  • are safe from abuse and neglect.

The best way to predict the future is to
invent it.
Immanuel Kant
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