Citizens Review Panel reports to county board

The Washington County Citizen Review Panel presented its annual report to the county board on Feb. 14. Since 1999, the panel has been an advisory committee to the board. It operates under the authority of the Minnesota Legislature and jointly with the state Department of Human Services, which awards a $3000 annual grant to assist with the cost. The panel provides a citizens’ perspective of child protection services, including assisting with selected case reviews, critiquing services and programs, and promoting prevention of child abuse. Its 2011 activities included an April Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention event titled “When we help children do better today, we all do better tomorrow” conducted in collaboration with Washington County Community Services, Washington County Child and Parent Connections, and the Washington County Library at the R.H. Stafford library branch. Also during the year, the panel’s Non Resident Father Project information was presented to the county board. Projects the panel continues to focus on are Taking Action to Prevent Child Deaths Project and the Reduce Foster Care Re-Entry Rate.