Child Placement Review Board



About


The Child Placement Review Board (CPRB) was founded in 1979 on the principle that society benefits when informed citizens are able to conduct reviews of the child welfare system. Our mission is to advocate on behalf of an individual child or through efforts directed towards systemic issues to identify, address and resolve barriers to the vital achievement of timely permanency for Delaware's children in out-of-home placements.

Our Mission:


The mission of the CPRB, a voluntary, citizen-based organization, is to advocate on behalf of Delaware's children in out-of-home placements and to identify, address, and resolve systemic barriers to the achievement of timely permanency for these children.

History


The Board was established by the State of Delaware in 1979 by the Foster Child Review Act, Title 31, Chapter 38, of the Delaware Code. This board offers the citizens of Delaware the opportunity and forum for participation in the State's efforts to provide for children in the care or custody of the state. CPRB reviews are documented in reports to the Family Court of the State of Delaware.

Scope


The Child Placement Review Board (CPRB) serves foster children in the State of Delaware and adjudicate children in out of home placements by involving, trained citizen volunteers in regular reviews of where these children have been placed, how they are treated, and how their changing needs are being addressed. This process, conducted with professionals from the Division of Family Services (DFS), and YRS improves the life of children in care because:

  • CPRB volunteers advocate for stable placements for children in care.
  • CPRB reviews emphasize the search for permanency for each foster child.
  • CPRB training equips each volunteer ensure children in the State's care receive all appropriate services.
  • Twice-yearly CPRB reviews help prevent "foster care drift," in which a child's changing needs can be unrecognized or overlooked.

CPRB reviews offer an independent, citizen-based assessment of foster care in Delaware and treatment of delinquent youth.

Smiling girl holding hand

The Child Placement Review Board conducts case reviews for each child in the custody of the State. These reviews take place once yearly for each child and involve a committee of trained CPRB volunteers, the child's case worker from DFS or YRS, the biological parents or legal guardians, the foster parents or placement staff, and, as needed, additional professionals involved with the child and/or the family.

When appropriate, the child, siblings, and extended family members are also invited. While CPRB reviews are not Family Court hearings, the findings and recommendations are reported to Family Court and become part of each child's permanent file. CPRB recommendations are an important avenue for change in the foster care system, often opening the door to additional opportunities for permanence or leading to enhanced educational, emotional, or vocational support.

The CPRB has the option of filing a petition directly with Family Court on behalf of any child it believes is not being adequately served by current placement or long-term permanency plans.

The CPRB also serves as an advocate for programs and services needed by children in foster care. These advocacy efforts are undertaken with members of the State legislature, with Family Court, and with State and Federal agencies chartered to meet the needs of children.

Advocacy direction is furnished by the CPRB Executive Committee, which also establishes policies within the framework of the enabling legislation and produces an annual report to the State Legislature on the work of the CPRB Volunteers.

Who We are


Currently, our volunteers with backgrounds as teachers, principals, therapists, lawyers, nurses, and former social workers, have a combined total of over 600 years of foster care review experience. We are a diverse group of people representing a broad range of experience, race, age, and income, which allows us to understand the needs of children from many perspectives. During FY 2009, our highly qualified volunteers completed approximately 750 individual reviews, resulting in 3,500 hours of donated service to the state of Delaware.

The Child Placement Review Board is:

  • Founded on the principle that society benefits when informed citizens are able to conduct reviews of the child welfare system.
  • Made up of trained volunteers with backgrounds as teachers, principals, therapists, lawyers, nurses, and former social workers.
  • Independent of other state welfare agencies and the Family Court system, and is thus able to analyze and make recommendations on system-wide improvements that benefit children directly.
  • A diverse group of people representing a broad range of experience, race, age, and income; this diversity allows our Review Committees to relate to the needs of children in many different situations.
  • A positive voice in support of funding to reduce DFS caseloads and social worker turnover.
  • A member of a national coalition working to improve foster care through citizen review boards.

What Makes Us Unique


The CPRB is a citizen-based child advocacy organization that provides an independent case review of 100% of the children who have been placed in an out of home placement for 10 months or longer. The purpose of these case reviews is to evaluate the well-being of those children, assess what is in their best interests and generate recommendations that are submitted to the Division of Family Services and the Family Court of Delaware regarding the appropriateness of the efforts to achieve permanency for the children.

The CPRB is dedicated to improving outcomes for children in out of home placements by working and collaborating with like-minded organizations and programs. Through our ongoing effort to gather and distribute data collected from our independent review, the CPRB strives to inform and influence state policy makers to ensure the safety, well being and timely achievement of permanency for Delaware's most vulnerable children.

The Child Placement Review Board:

  • Is the only independent agency involved in Delaware's child welfare system; it is neither part of the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families nor an agency of Family Court.
  • Is the only citizen-based agency participating in Delaware's child welfare system.
  • Is an effective advocate for systemic changes in services.
  • Implements an in-depth review format that is not duplicated by any other review.
  • Uses a diverse group of more than 75 highly qualified volunteers to complete approximately 750 individual reviews annually, thus donating more than 3,500 hours of service at no cost to the state.
  • Administers the Ivyane D.F. Davis Scholarship program, supporting post-secondary education for former foster children.
  • Partners with DFS to administer the Federal Education Training and Vouchers program for post-secondary education.