What is the CRP?
The Alaska Citizen Review Panel is a mechanism for meaningful public participation in child protection policy and practice. The Panel is an opportunity for Alaska’s citizens to engage in an intensive and rewarding public process to assist Alaska’s child protection system in being more responsive to the community’s needs.
In Alaska, the Office of Children Services (OCS) is the designated agency for child protection across the state. Municipalities and local communities in Alaska have minimal child protection infrastructure. Many of the more than 229 federally recognized tribes in the state have independent ICWA programs or are served through a regional compact of tribal communities. These ICWA offices are an important part of local child protection in Alaska.
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended in 1996 and 2010, requires establishment of citizen review panels in each state, composed of volunteer members generally representing the state’s population.
The CRP is also mandated through Alaska State Statute Sec. 47.14.205 – Sec 47.14.295 established the Panel in Alaska.
The Panel’s operations are guided by a set of guidelines adopted in December 2014.
What Does the Panel Do?
The Panel’s has two broad functions—review and outreach.
Review: The Panel evaluates the extent to which the Office of Children Services is effectively discharging its child protection responsibilities under:
- Alaska’s CAPTA Plan or Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP)
- Child protection standards under federal and state laws; and
- Any other criteria that the panel considers important to ensuring the protection of children, including the level and efficiency of coordination of foster care and adoption programs in the state and a review of child fatalities and near fatalities.
At this time, owing to limited resources, the scope of the Panel’s review is limited to the state Office of Children Services (OCS).
Outreach: The Panel engages in public outreach through a variety of activities:
- Public Notice of Meetings: The CRP holds quarterly teleconferences that are open to the public. The teleconference number is 1-855-257-8693 PIN 3998569. Public comment is held during the last ten minutes of the meeting, with a limit of two minutes per speaker.
- Site Visits: The Panel strives to visit each OCS region every year
- Work Products: The Panel publishes all reports, meeting minutes, agendas, and other work products on this website.
- New Members: The Panel seeks to be broadly representative by widening the geographic and racial and ethnic diversity of its volunteer members. Alaskans interested in helping to further the mission of the CRP in protecting Alaska’s children are encouraged to apply.
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