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February/March 2002Vol. 3, No. 2First Annual Citizen Review Panel Conference

Since the 1970s in some States, and since 1999 in all States, volunteers in communities nationwide provide oversight and insights to public child welfare agencies by serving on Citizen Review Panels (CRPs). The first conference designed specifically for CRPs will take place May 22-23 in Lexington, Kentucky.

The 1996 reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) required States to establish at least three CRPs by 1999 as a condition for receiving Federal child abuse and neglect funds. Panels review their State's CAPTA plan, and each panel evaluates different aspects of the child protection system in its own community. Panels also play a role in Child and Family Services Reviews, the process by which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) evaluates States to improve outcomes of Federal child welfare programs.

The first annual Citizens Review Panel conference is being co-sponsored by the University of Kentucky's College of Social Work and Kentucky's Citizens Review Panels. The theme of this year's conference is "Pipe Dream or Possibility: Citizen Involvement in Child Protective Services."

The aim of the conference is to focus national attention on getting citizens involved in public child welfare. CRP members and program coordinators will discuss strategies to encourage best practices within the panels.

In addition, workshops will focus on the following:

  • Recruiting a diverse Citizens Review Panel
  • Using legislation and advocacy to advance your panel
  • Understanding the latest research on citizen involvement in public child welfare
  • Working effectively with State child protective services.

The cost of the conference is $50. For more information, contact Blake Jones by phone at 859-257-7210 or via email at

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Visit the University of Kentucky's College of Social Work Training Resource Center (