South Carolina Citizen Review Panel - FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Citizen Review Panels?
Citizen Review Panels are federally mandated volunteer panels charged with evaluating the child protective services (CPS) system. In South Carolina there are panels in the Lowcountry, Midlands and Upstate areas of the state.
Are there any special requirements to be a member?
Membership is open to all SC Citizens without a history of criminal behavior, molestation or child abuse or neglect charges.
What do they do?
Panel members examine the policies, procedures and practices of the child welfare system and make annual recommendations to the SC Department of Social Services that they believe improve the care and treatment of abused and neglected children.
How often do they meet?
Panels are required to meet at least once a quarter. Most meet bimonthly. They may also meet with fellow committee members between full committee meetings on projects they have chosen to work on for the year.
What happens to the work of the panel?
The SC Department of Social Services is federally mandated to review and respond to the annual recommendations of the panel and to provide a response within six months of receipt.
Is there compensation?
Citizen Review Panel membership is voluntary. Lunches, annual retreats, and annual conference attendance may be provided to members depending on the availability of funding.
How does the work help kids?
We seek to work on projects/issues that have a direct impact on the lives of children in the child welfare system. We make policy recommendations and improve the procedures and practices of this system. Recently, we suggested to the SC Department of Social Services that they revise and re-implement the use of a document called the Passport which provides important health and education information about kids in foster care to foster parents. We also suggested the development of an informational brochure for families accepting a relative placement. The brochure will provide prospective relative caregivers with information concerning their rights, responsibilities and available resources. Both of these suggestions were immediately accepted by the Department and are in the process of being developed/implemented.