Contact Person: Paula L. Brown, Child Welfare Practice Review Specialist DCF/DSP
Contact Address: Wisconsin Dept. of Children and Families, 125 S. Webster Street, P O Box 8916, Madison, WI 53708-8916 Contact Phone: 608-266-0579
Brief Description: Wisconsin has six county based citizen review panels located in Marathon, Outagamie, Milwaukee, Polk, Jefferson and St. Croix Counties and one state panel, the Foster Youth Advisory Council whose membership consists of former foster care youth. In September 2013, DSP Informational Memo Series 2013-11 was issued seeking to expand the number of citizen review panels in Wisconsin. Four new panels were added in 2014, bringing Wisconsin’s total number of panels to seven.
Sample of Current Work Projects/Focus: In 2013 the panels reviewed and analyzed the 2011 and 2012 child death, serious injury and egregious incident cases posted on the DCF web site. The review occurred during August-October, with an all-day workgroup analysis meeting held in February 2014. The information and findings from the project were compiled into a report that will be forwarded to the DCF along with recommendations from the panels. The panels are hoping to continue this type of review project in partnership with the DCF.
A Statewide Citizen Review Panel Meeting was held January 15, 2014 in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Dr. Blake Jones facilitated the day’s activities that included an orientation for the new panels, which also served as a refresher course for existing panels on the history and role of the panels in child welfare. The event was well attended by members from most of Wisconsin’s panels and included several DCF managers. The panel members in attendance voted to research and address the issue of the role of guardians ad litem in child welfare. Other areas of interest identified include challenges faced by youth aging out of care, relationships between CPS and the schools, demands on child welfare staff, and recruitment and retention of foster parents.
Budget Amount and Source: In 2013, all of the citizen review panels will receive CAPTA funds in the amount of $7,000 per panel. In addition, each panel is supported and coordinated with assistance from the child protective services agency in that county.