Citizen Panel Review

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The Judicial Citizen Panel Review Program consists of a cross-section of volunteers from the community, appointed by the local Juvenile Court Judge. The purpose of the review is to ensure the children have a safe and permanent home as soon as possible. The volunteers receive 15 hours of training from the Council of Juvenile Court Judge’s staff. Once they complete the required training, they are sworn in as officers of the court.

These volunteers meet once a month to review cases of children placed into foster care through the court. Panels review the progress of the parent or custodian to see if they are meeting the established goals set by the court, and monitor the welfare of the children. This information is gathered by meeting with parents, children, caseworkers, foster parents, educators, treatment professionals and CASA volunteers, at the panel hearings.

Recommendations are made to the Judge about what should happen next in the case. If reunification is not possible, then the panel may make a recommendation for another form of permanency, such as adoption, placement with a relative, or another planned permanent living arrangement. The Judge has final authority in all matters.