Citizen Review Panel


The Citizen Review Panel meetings are held:
  • 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • 1st Tuesday of every month
  • Lakes Region EMS Building
    40245 Fletcher Ave
    North Branch, MN 55056


The purpose of the Citizen Review Panel is to facilitate citizen participation and provide opportunities for members of the community to play an integral role in ensuring that federal, state, and county child protection systems protect children from abuse and neglect and meet the permanency needs of children.


  • Review policies and procedures in consultation with county and state child protection staff to ensure the protection of children.
  • Examine the practices of the county and state child protection agencies to evaluate if the social work practices protect children from abuse and neglect.
  • Review the consistency of social work practice and compliance with stated policies.
  • Advocate for resources and make recommendations to resolve the disparity of the number of children of color involved in the child protection system.
  • Participate in the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process.
  • Assist in the preparation, review, and monitoring of the Program Improvement plan (PIP).
  • Analyze trends and provide valuable insights that those working within the system may miss, as well as provide feedback on what is or is not working.
  • Recommend policy changes to improve the child protection system.
  • Provide outside validation of the successes of the system and the efforts of the staff.
  • Increase community understanding, ownership, and investment in child protections.
  • Promote cooperation among community resource and child protection services.
  • Provide for public outreach and comment to assess the impact of procedures and policies upon children and families in the community.
  • Advocate for needed resources to achieve the protection of children from abuse and neglect and ensure permanent homes for children in a timely manner.
  • Prepare and make public an annual report containing a summary of the activities of the panel and recommendations to improve the child protection system.
  • Monitor the implementation of the Citizen Review panel’s recommendations.
  • Monitor the extent to which the Minnesota Department of Human services is fulfilling child protection responsibilities in accordance with its child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) 5 Year Plan, as required by the federal CAPTA.

Board Composition

The Child Protection Citizen Review Panel includes individuals with sensitivity to cultural, ethnic, and economic diversity; expertise in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect; and an understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence. The panel consists of no fewer than 7 members and no more than 16 members.

Individuals may include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Business / corporate representatives
  • Child advocates / guardians ad litem
  • Children’s / parents’ attorneys
  • Clergy and representatives from communities of faith
  • Community leaders / activists
  • Concerned community members
  • Councils of color members / Ombudsperson for families
  • Court services workers
  • Foster parents
  • Health, chemical health, and mental health professionals
  • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) advocates
  • Law enforcement representatives
  • Mentally or physically disabled person representatives or advocates
  • Parent / consumer representatives
  • Teachers and school administrators
  • Women’s advocates


Members of the Citizen Review Panel are appointed by both the County Board and the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services. Citizen volunteers serve a term of 2 calendar years beginning July 1. A panel member may not serve more than 3 consecutive 2 year terms.


Members are reimbursed for expenses reasonably incurred in the performance of their duties on the panel.