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Civic engagement or token participation? Perceived impact of the citizen review panel initiative.
Children and Youth Services Review (2007)
  • Valerie Bryan, University of South Alabama
  • Blake Jones, University of Kentucky
  • Erin Allen, University of Kentucky
  • Crystal Collins-Camargo, University of Louisville
State child welfare systems in recent years have been increasingly compelled to include citizen stakeholders in public policy evaluation. A key mechanism for increased citizen involvement has been the development of citizen review panels (CRPs) in the area of child protective services. Citizen review panels are groups of citizen volunteers who are federally mandated through the CAPTA Amendments of 1996 to evaluate state child welfare agencies. Despite the age of the mandate, very few researchers have examined the impact of the initiative upon child welfare services. This article describes the process of and results from a statewide evaluative study of the federal citizen review panel (CRP) initiative to improve child protective services in a rural southern state. The study employed multiple methods to capture a variety of stakeholder views, including the use of panel member surveys and focus groups, content analysis of CRP annual reports and state responses, and semi-structured state stakeholder interviews. Results from these efforts were analyzed and synthesized to identify prevalent, convergent and divergent themes of state agency and panel perspectives. Findings from the study are discussed as well as recommendations for improvement in the functioning of the panels.
  • Citizen review panels,
  • Child welfare system,
  • Citizen engagement
Publication Date
October, 2007
Citation Information
Valerie Bryan, Blake Jones, Erin Allen and Crystal Collins-Camargo. "Civic engagement or token participation? Perceived impact of the citizen review panel initiative." Children and Youth Services Review Vol. 29 Iss. 10 (2007) p. 1286 - 1300 ISSN: 0190-7409
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