Our overall mission is to facilitate public outreach and provide opportunities for citizens to evaluate and make recommendations to state and local child protection systems to ensure that these systems promote safety, well-being and permanency for the children and families of Nebraska.
Citizen Review Panels were developed in response to a requirement set forth in the 1996 reauthorization for the Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA), section 106 (c) and are composed of volunteer citizens who are broadly representative of their community. These panels help set priorities for the child welfare system through the review of service networks, policies, procedures, research and reviews of child protection and safety cases. Recommendations are made in an annual report to ensure that state and local agencies are effectively meeting child protection responsibilities.
Nebraska Citizen Review Panels
Commission for the Protection of Children Citizen Review Panel evaluates child welfare practices and makes recommendations through the review of Children and Family Services cases. The focus of the case review is a joint decision by the Commission and DHHS which can vary based on child welfare needs.
Young Adult Citizen Review Panel consists of 16-26-year-olds with lived experience in Nebraska's child welfare, juvenile justice and/or homeless systems. Members have experienced a variety of placements, services, permanency objectives and, in some cases, multiple state systems. Using their expertise and experience and their peers, they provide annual recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the agency's policies and procedures.
Family Caregiver Citizen Review Panel provides recommendations to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) through local, community-owned groups. This format creates a comprehensive, cross-cutting team of various sectors serving the local area. There is also an opportunity to directly recruit community caregivers who can speak to their experiences in the area. There is also the opportunity for local DHHS offices across all divisions to have the chance to hear from their specific regional community voices on how to connect and serve these areas.