Examining How the System Works
Recognizing the importance of public participation and community engagement, Health and Welfare has organized citizen review panels in each of its seven regions. These panels examine how Idaho’s Child Protection System works and make recommendations for improvement. Panels have focused on providing independent analysis of how the child protection system responds to abuse and neglect and on overall community supports for children and families in crisis.
In 1996, Congress amended the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). These amendments required that states establish Citizen Review Panels by July 1999 in order to receive funding for the Child Abuse and Neglect State Grants Program.
Review Cases, Report to the Director
Idaho’s Citizen Reviewers called themselves "Keeping Children Safe" panel. This fall they decided to call themselves Idaho Citizen Review Panels. Most meet monthly, review cases of child abuse and neglect, attend child fatality reviews, go to court, and observe the implementation of Department policies and procedures as they interact with families and other agencies. Once a year, they submit a report of their collective experiences, findings and recommendations to Health and Welfare's Director.
There are approximately 60 Citizen Review panel members in Idaho. Once a year, they meet to review activities, share ideas, and receive additional training. Each member serves a minimum of eight hours a month. These citizen volunteers repeatedly have demonstrated their commitment to Idaho’s children and a willingness to involve themselves in the work of making our communities safer for children.
We very much appreciate the valuable contributions of the 2015 Keeping Children Safe panels: