Progress Made in Meeting Objectives of the Citizen Review Panels (continued)
All four panels were updated about the federal CFSR process and will continue to be updated by the Minnesota Department of Human Services regarding the results of the CFSR conducted in Minnesota in 2007 and its Program Improvement Plan (PIP).
Analyze trends, provide valuable insights that those working within the system may miss, and provide feedback on what is or is not working.
Winona County panel members continue to serve on a county-wide task force to address truancy and tardiness. The Winona County Education Neglect and Truancy Task Force also includes representatives from the Winona Area Public Schools, the Hiawatha Valley Education District, the Winona County judicial system, Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center and the Winona County Department of Human Services.
Chisago County panel members participated in child mortality reviews.
Make recommendations for policy changes.
The Ramsey County and Washington County panels continue to pursue the recommendations to improve the availability and accessibility of Independent Living Skills (ILS) resources in their communities and throughout Minnesota. (Recommendations regarding ILS resources are included in the 2005 and 2006 annual reports of Minnesota’s Citizen Review Panels.)
Provide outside validation of the successes of the system and the efforts of the staff.
The Chisago County Citizen Review Panel continues to monitor the impact of lost staff and contract positions that occurred in December 2006. They gathered case number and case load size data and discussed its impact on providing services to the children and families. Long-term effects are still unknown.
Increase community understanding, ownership and investment in child protection.
All four panels studied how child welfare is financed in Minnesota. Among other things they reviewed the following reports: 1) The Task Force for Financing the Future of Child Welfare in Minnesota’s report, Child Safety in Minnesota, Outcome-Driven and Performance-Based System, September 2006, 2) Office of the Legislative Auditor, State of Minnesota evaluation report summary, Human Services Administration, January 2007,
Minnesota Association of County Social Service Administration (MACSA), 4) Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) and 5) Minnesota Inter-county Association’s fact sheets regarding financing child safety in Minnesota.
At the 2007 Citizen Review Panels Recognition and Training Event, a panel of experts which included a county commissioner, representatives from Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor’s Office and the Minnesota Department of Human Services addressed the panel members about child welfare financing from their perspectives.
Promote cooperation among community resources and child protection services.
Washington County panel members participated in and raised money for the Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota Walk to End Child Abuse for the second year in a row. This year the panel raised $400.00.
Ramsey County Children’s Services Review Panel members are working with the Ramsey County Low Income Committee and the Children’s Mental Health Advisory Council to develop programming for children in homeless shelters; participated in Project Homeless Connect; and formally supported Care in Action Minnesota, an agency that matches church congregations and child protection workers to provide needed items for children and families.