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Blake L. Jones, MSW, LCSW, Ph.D. University of Kentucky College of Social Work.

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Presentation on theme: "Blake L. Jones, MSW, LCSW, Ph.D. University of Kentucky College of Social Work."— Presentation transcript:

1 Blake L. Jones, MSW, LCSW, Ph.D. University of Kentucky College of Social Work

2 A little bit about me I am a … Father and Husband Professor/Researcher Clinician Program Coordinator Musician Son, Grandson, and Great Grandson of Musicians Believer in the power of community service

3 Never doubt that a small, dedicated group of citizens can make a difference. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has… ~ Margaret Mead

4 How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

5 Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

6 This whole damn citizen review thing is a joke! They (child protective services) dont really want to hear what we want to say. We are just puppets to make them look good! ~survey respondent

7 Those people (Citizen Review Panel members) need to get a clue. They dont know the first thing about what we do, but they want to judge us. They should just mind their own business! ~ Child Welfare Administrator

8 The idea of citizen participation is a little like eating spinach no one is against it because it is good for you. ~ Sherry Arnstein

9 What I want to Accomplish this Session History of Citizen Review Panels Describe National CRP Community Discuss research on CRPs Give Practical Advice about How to Make the Process Work

10 Why is Citizen Participation Important? It prevents an agency from becoming a system unto itself It moves us toward community based services Citizen can be advocates for the agency It educates citizens about what is really happening with agencies Its democracy in action….

11 Challenges to Collaboration Citizens have trouble understanding complexities of state agencies (Feel like were treading water) Distrust from frontline workers and administrators Time lag between when new initiatives are launched and citizens are informed (we had to read it in the paper…) Some members see Panels as a way to stick it to the system

12 The Toad and the Kangaroo Shel Silverstein

13 A failure to communicate? Administrators often speak the language of: Budget stress Politics Circle the Wagons We know best Incremental change Citizen groups speak the language of: Personal passion Personal experience We want change NOW! Coalitions are best Ready to use public shame if necessary

14 Building a Trusting Relationship with the Child Welfare Agency : The Iphone and the Toy Box

15 Citizen Review Panels for Child Protective Services Citizen Review Panels were formed through a 1996 amendment to the Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA) 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 services) Other criteria the panel considers important, which may include coordination with foster care and adoption programs and review of child fatalities and near fatalities

16 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 neglect 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 recommendations

17 More Requirements Evaluate PRACTICES as well as policy and procedure Develop a means for public comment Child welfare agency is to respond in writing to annual report within six months** May include former victims of child abuse and neglect

18 Common Themes CRP coordinated by someone from state child welfare agency Struggle with diverse membership and involving non-professionals Trouble in defining the mission and outcomes of CRP (watchdog vs. advocate) Retention of members is difficult Turnover in state agency (i.e., new administrations) Difficulty in connecting with Child and Family Services Review

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

20 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

21 Models of Citizen Review Panels Nationally Started from Scratch in 1999 (KY, TN, MN,AK) Use of existing Boards (ID, FL, NC, AL, CO). This is COMMON. Boards used are Child Fatality, Foster Care Review, Childrens Justice Act, CPS Advisory Committees. Usually cover statewide issues. Panels created through state legislation (NY, WY)

22 Total of 348 CRPs in 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico 30 states provide staff assistance and 36 states provide financial assistance NO states reviewed the states CAPTA Plan Only 33 states provided a written response to the work of the Panels A Snap Shot of CRPS Nationally Source: Report to Congress on Effectiveness of Citizen Review Panels (2013)

23 Six states (19 percent) indicated that they had implemented or were planning to implement in the future 75 to 100 percent of the recommendations. 12 states (37.5 percent) noted that they had implemented or would implement in the future 50 to 74 percent of the panels recommendations. Six states (19 percent) wrote that they had implemented or were planning to implement 25 to 49 percent of the recommendations. Eight states (25 percent) reported that they had implemented or were planning to implement 0 to 24 percent of the recommendations. 13 of the 32 states (in response to 26 recommendations) indicated that they would need to evaluate recommendations before a decision could be made about implementation Response to Recommendations

24 Research tells us that Citizen Review Panels generally do better when they are… Given access to information Consulted EARLY in the policy development process Given FEEDBACK about their recommendations Provided staff and other logistical support Part of a thoughtful, well- defined process rather than a feel good exercise

25 Examples of CRP Interests Nationally Relationship between CPS and foster parents (and how they are trained) Mandated reporters and how they are trained Caseloads of frontline workers Racial Disparity in Out of Home Care The use of kinship care in out of home care Training of CPS workers cases involving meth School system response to child abuse reporting Review of the system tracking fatalities and near fatalities Relationship of CPS and the court system Trauma Informed Care

26 Examples of Recommendations Made Nationally Child welfare agency should implement an online mandated reporter training (GA) Develop a brochure to be given to families who are chosen as kinship care (SC) The Child Welfare Agency and the Department of Education should develop a joint training on child abuse to be given to teachers and other school personnel (NJ) CPS caseworkers should receive additional training on identifying child and family needs related to mental health disorders, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse disorders (NV) Use a risk simulator similar to the ones used by police to train social workers (KY)

27 What Makes a Bad CRP? Unclear or conflicting goals Poor leadership from chairperson No follow through on commitments axe grinders Lack of communication from child welfare agency Membership turnover (always starting from scratch)

28 The Elements of Successful Citizen Review Panels A clear focus and strategic plan A trusting relationship with the child welfare system Ability to view the big picture of incremental change within large bureaucracies Staff and other logistical support Ability to engage in ongoing dialogue ( this is more than trading reports) Ability to connect with other child advocates in the state Meetings which are productive and move the group toward a common goal

29 An Example of a Successful CRP Topic TOPIC: How frontline Kentucky child welfare workers are trained to respond to meth cases KY CRP reviewed policy, talked with frontline workers and supervisors, law enforcement, first responders RESULT: Changes in policy which made workers and children safer

30 The Importance of Strategic Planning The CAPTA law is large and vague, leading to confusion and discouragement CRPs should evaluate topics with depth rather than being a mile wide and an inch deep Try to choose topics that are important to your state agency (remember communication ?) As one CRP member said, Why do I need to volunteer my valuable time if all we do is show up and tear down CPS?

31 Are your topic areas SMART? Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time Limited

32 A word about having a good meeting Make sure everyone comes away from the meeting feeling it was PRODUCTIVE, or people will NOT COME BACK Get agenda and minutes to members before the meeting Make sure ALL members are heard (aka, beware the blowhard) Have time each meeting for working teams to touch base on their work, and give a report Invite frontline workers, legislators, foster parents, etc. to your meetings

33 How to Write a Good Recommendation A Caveat: CRPs are part of a larger picture of system change (dont usually recommend changes which have not already been considered by someone) Consider making observations instead of recommendations Dont make too many recommendations Make sure recommendations contain the following elements:

34 Recommendations should be… Based on the work of the Panel (not someones opinion or personal agenda) Linked to some form of evaluation (surveys, policy review, focus groups, etc.) Something which is SPECIFIC (i.e., related to specific policy changes if possible) Something that is feasible within the context of a bureaucracy and that Child Welfare can change

35 Recruiting New Members Who is MISSING from your group? Think about what agencies often interact with child welfare Develop a PLAN for recruitment (press releases, targeted letters, guest speaking at community groups, church bulletins, etc.) Remember WHY people volunteer: to make a difference. Dont waste their time

36 Practical Advice Do….. Focus on building a trusting, honest relationship with your child welfare agency Become an integral part of the Program Improvement Plan!!!! Do a project during the year (i.e., host a conference, do a community service project, do something for frontline workers) Develop a mechanism whereby you follow your recommendations over the years Get a practicum student Dont…. Choose a work project that is large and unmanageable Spend your time in meetings chasing rabbits Neglect the health of your group Be afraid to ask for what you need, but…. Dont get overly defensive if the answer is no

37 The national scene… University of Kentucky is the organizing hub for Citizen Review Panels National Citizen Review Panel Virtual Community ( ) * Annual Reports * Training Materials * Sign up for Listserv * Information from Annual Reports * Articles, Tip Sheets National CRP Conference will be held in Atlanta, May , 2014

38 Selected References Bryan, V., Collins-Camargo, C., & Jones, B. (2011). Reflections on citizen-state child welfare partnerships: Listening to citizen review panel volunteers and agency liaisons. Children and Youth Services Review, 32, 1, Bryan, V., Jones, B.L. & Lawson. (2010). Key features of effective citizen–state child welfare partnerships: Findings from a national study of citizen review panels. Children and Youth Services Review, 32, 4, Collins-Camargo, C., Jones, B.L, & Krusich, S. (2009). The Spinach of Citizen Participation in Public Child Welfare: Strategies for Involving Citizens in Public Child Welfare. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 3, Jones, B.L. & Royse, D. (2008) Citizen review panels: The connection between training and perceived effectiveness. Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal ) 32, 1-2. Bryan, V., Jones, B.L., Allen, E. & Collins- Camargo, C. (2007) Child and Youth Services Review Civic Engagement or Token Participation? Perceived Impact of the Citizen Review Panel Initiative in Kentucky. 29, 1286– 1300 Jones, B.L. & Royse, D. (2008) Citizen review panels for child protective services: A national profile. Child Welfare, (87), 3, 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, (26) 12, 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) Litzelfelner, P., Collins-Camargo, C. & Jones, B. L. (2003) Models for Involving Citizens in the Child Welfare System in Kentucky: An Overview. Kentucky Childrens Rights Journal., Spring, 2003.

39 Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see. ~John W. Whitehead, The Stealing of America

40 SWOT Analysis S trengths W eaknesses O pportunities T hreats

41 Strengths S trengths: attributes of the organization that are helpful to achieving the objective. Example: You have a BUDGET, you are written into state law, stable membership

42 Weaknesses W eaknesses: attributes of the organization that are harmful to achieving the objective. Examples: unstable membership, budget problems, poor leadership, goals are at cross purposes with agency

43 Opportunities O pportunities: external conditions that are helpful to achieving the objective. Examples: Your state is getting ready to undergo its Child and Family Services Review

44 Threats T hreats: external conditions that are harmful to achieving the objective. Examples: State budget crises, adversarial relationship with child welfare agency

45 What are the ways you can… Capitalize on Strengths Minimize weaknesses Seize Opportunities Defend against Threats


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