256.01 Commissioner of human services; powers, duties.
Subd. 15. Citizen review panels. (a) The commissioner shall establish a minimum of three citizen review panels to examine the policies and procedures of state and local welfare agencies to evaluate the extent to which the agencies are effectively discharging their child protection responsibilities. Local social service agencies shall cooperate and work with the citizen review panels. Where appropriate, the panels may examine specific cases to evaluate the effectiveness of child protection activities. The panels must examine the extent to which the state and local agencies are meeting the requirements of the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act and the Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors Act. The commissioner may authorize mortality review panels or child protection teams to carry out the duties of a citizen review panel if membership meets or is expanded to meet the requirements of this section.
(b) The panel membership must include volunteers who broadly represent the community in which the panel is established, including members who have expertise in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect, child protection advocates, and representatives of the councils of color and ombudsperson for families.
(c) A citizen review panel has access to the following data for specific case review under this paragraph: police investigative data; autopsy records and coroner or medical examiner investigative data; hospital, public health, or other medical records of the child; hospital and other medical records of the child's parent that relate to prenatal care; records created by social service agencies that provided services to the child or family; and personnel data related to an employee's performance in discharging child protection responsibilities. A state agency, statewide system, or political subdivision shall provide the data upon request of the commissioner. Not public data may be shared with members of the state or local citizen review panel in connection with an individual case.
(d) Notwithstanding the data's classification in the possession of any other agency, data acquired by a local or state citizen review panel in the exercise of its duties are protected nonpublic or confidential data as defined in section 13.02, but may be disclosed as necessary to carry out the purposes of the review panel. The data are not subject to subpoena or discovery. The commissioner may disclose conclusions of the review panel, but may not disclose data on individuals that were classified as confidential or private data on individuals in the possession of the state agency, statewide system, or political subdivision from which the data were received, except that the commissioner may disclose local social service agency data as provided in section 626.556, subdivision 11d, on individual cases involving a fatality or near fatality of a person served by the local social service agency prior to the date of death.