Contact Person: Marsha A. Lynch
Contact Address: The Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center, The University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work
403 East Winding Hill Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Contact Phone: (717) 795-9048
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
n 2010, three Citizen Review Panels were established in Pennsylvania. Support for the panels is provided by Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Children, Youth and Families via a contract with the University of Pittsburgh’s Child Welfare Resource Center.
The structure of Pennsylvania’s Citizen Review Panels is best described by highlighting three key points.
In 2012, the panel members and the State met for a two-day strategic planning session. During that time, several decisions were made. First, to avoid duplication of efforts, the panels would submit one report to the state. Second, in order to increase the distribution and viewership of the report, it would be published as part of Pennsylvania’s Annual Child Abuse Reports. To support these changes, two “All Panel Meetings” are held annually. These are two-day events. The first day is for panel members only and provides an opportunity for members to discuss their individual work and recommendations. The second day is dedicated to presenting and discussing their work with the Department of Public Welfare and other stakeholders.Another change occurred in 2013 which has helped promote a cooperative relationship between panel members and other child welfare agencies. Panel members are invited to participant in a variety of activities outside of the panel meetings. These activities include statewide workgroups, meetings, conferences, trainings and older youth events. Additionally, several panel members have joined local and state teams to conduct Quality Service Reviews in counties within their region. While these partnerships are relatively new, they have already proved to be mutually beneficial thus far.