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Compliance with Five Year CAPTA Plan Report, 2007 (continued)

Strategy: Develop three additional county-based Citizen Review Panels that examine state and local child protection policies, procedures and practices.

Status:

The third recommendation in the June 2007 Hennepin County Child Protection Task Force Final Report is: “Create a Citizens’ Review Panel to have an ongoing role in assessing Hennepin County’s child protection system, including addressing the disproportionate representation of people of color.”

In response to that recommendation, child protection management staff members from Hennepin County contacted DHS. Meetings were held and plans made to continue to work together in developing a Citizen Review Panel and have it operational in the coming months.

The Department of Human Services, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and White Earth Band of Ojibwe’s American Indian Child Welfare Initiative began in April 2006. Child abuse, neglect, and family preservation services are in the process of being fully implemented. Establishing Citizen Review Panels will be considered as child protection policies, procedures and systems are established. Plans to explore whether Citizen Review Panels would be beneficial to help protect children on the reservations from abuse and neglect, and how to best structure and implement them, will begin in 2008. Tribal representatives will be invited to attend the National Citizen Review Panel Conference in St. Paul next May.

The department will continue to pursue the expansion of Citizen Review Panels throughout Minnesota. It anticipates having at least three new panels, in addition to the current four panels, up and running by the end of 2009.

Looking Ahead

In 2008, with the department’s help, the Citizen Review Panels will continue to monitor the implementation of the mandated reporter tutorial, the mandated reporter videos and DVD, progress of the PSOP, and the expansion of the Citizen Review Panels.

For further information or a copy of the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Five Year Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act Plan and the status, contact Anita Keyes, Citizen Review Panels, at 651 431-4704 or anita.keyes@state.mn.us .

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