Description: The Citizen Review Panel, serves as 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 neighborhood-based services provided by vendors. The Panel shall examine the policies, practices, and procedures of the Agency and any other District government agency that provides services to children at risk of abuse and neglect, or to children under the care of the Agency, including, as appropriate, the review of specific child cases. Based on this examination, the Panel shall evaluate the extent to which agencies serving children at risk of abuse or neglect, or children under the care of the Agency, are effectively discharging their child protection responsibilities in accordance with:
(1) The State plan required by section 106(b) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, approved April 25, 1988 (102 Stat. 110; 42 U.S.C. § 5106A(b);
(2) The child protection standards set forth in section 106(b) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, approved April 25, 1988 (102 Stat. 110; 42 U.S.C.§5106A(b); and
(3) Any other criteria that the Panel deems important to ensure the protection of children.
The Panel shall solicit public outreach and comment in order to assess the impact of current policies, practices, and procedures of the child welfare system on children and families in the District of Columbia.
No more than 2 members appointed by the Mayor, and no more than 2 members appointed by the Council, shall serve as an officer, director, partner, employee, consultant, or contractor with an organization that provides services to the Agency. In making their appointments, the Mayor and Council shall establish a Panel that is broadly representative of the community and includes members who have expertise in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. The Mayor and Council shall seek to include a diversity of professional backgrounds on the panel, such as children’s attorneys, child advocates, parents, foster parents, and other consumer representatives, social workers, educators, and health and mental health professionals who are familiar with the child welfare system