Thank you for considering volunteering to serve as a member of the New York State Citizen Review Panels for Child Protective Services.
The New York State Citizen Review Panels for Child Protective Services are comprised of citizen volunteers who are authorized by federal and state law to examine the policies, procedures and practices of the State and social services districts and, where appropriate, specific cases. The Panels evaluate the extent to which the agencies are effectively discharging their child protection responsibilities. In addition, the Panels advocate for important legislation and financial investments that can have a positive impact on child welfare services in NYS.
There are three panels in New York State, each with 13 members. The Western Panel covers the 17 counties in the western region of the state. The New York City Panel covers the five boroughs of New York City. The Eastern Panel covers the remaining 40 counties.
Panel members, appointed by the Office of the Governor or the NYS Legislature, are volunteers with a breadth of experience and knowledge in child welfare practice and law, social work, education, and technology, among other areas. Each of the three Panels has up to 13 members. Of those members, the Office of the Governor appoints seven, and the Senate President and Assembly Speaker appoint three each.
Panel members broadly represent the communities in which the Panel is established. No person currently employed by Federal, State, County or Municipal agencies which directly deliver child welfare services, may be a Panel member.
Panel members will typically participate in five meetings each year:
Regional panels meet approximately once every three months.
All panels meet jointly twice a year.
Meetings are scheduled for between one to two and a half hours.
Special meetings may be called by the Panel Chair(s) as needed. Meetings can be held in person or by videoconference/phone. Expenses related to meeting travel are reimbursable. There are no term limits. Members are asked to consider resigning when a change in job responsibilities or other events precludes them from regular attendance. Members are not removed from the Panel until they submit a letter of resignation.
In addition to active participation in regularly scheduled meetings, Panel members may be asked to participate in advocacy-related activities such as meeting with, calling, or sending letters/emails to State Legislators or other government officials.
As a group, the Panels are required to issue an annual report, directed to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, to include Panel activities and recommendations to address challenges within the child welfare system. The focus of the annual report and recommendations are developed collaboratively by the Panel Members based on their yearlong work. New members are orientated to their role by the Panel Chairs, with assistance from WRI Solutions. WRI will provide orientation materials to newly-appointed members for review. A call will then be scheduled with the new member, appropriate Panel Chair, and WRI to discuss the role of Panel members and answer any questions.
The Panels continually strive to attract a diverse pool of potential new members. Desired Panel diversity includes:
Race and ethnicity, age, gender/gender identification, disability, and sexual orientation.
Geographic location within New York State including rural, suburban, and urban areas of the State.
Experience related to the child welfare system including professional experience or lived experience (birth parent, foster parent, relative, or former youth in care).
Knowledge base such as advocacy, technology, education, law, program development and evaluation among others.
CRP Panel Status
CRP Appointment Process
Potential members may self-nominate or seek recommendation from a current Panel member or other community leader. Potential members may also be nominated directly by the Senate, Assembly or Governor's appointment offices.
Appointment occurs through the following process:
Identify your region. List of counties in each region
Review the CRP panel status above for vacancies.
Submit a letter of interest and resume to your State Senator, State Assembly member, or the Office of the Governor. NOTE: You may be asked to complete a criminal or child abuse registry background check.
If applying for appointment through the New York State Legislature, your final appointment will need to be approved by the Temporary President of the Senate or the Speaker of the Assembly.
Once your letter of appointment is received by a Panel Chair or by the Citizen Review Panel Coordinator, your appointment is considered complete, and you are an official member of the Panel.
Potential members may contact the appointing body, WRI, or if applicable, the nominating Panel member with questions regarding the appointment process.
Potential members may contact the appointing body (Senate, Assembly or Governor's office), the Citizen Review Panel Coordinator at WRI Solutions, or if applicable, the nominating Panel member with questions regarding the appointment process.
A sample letter of interest is available here.
Administrative support is provided to the Panels by WRI Solutions through a contract with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. To contact WRI, visit: https://www.wrisolutions.org/