Child Placement Review Board
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.
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.
Volunteers are appointed to the Child Placement Review Board by the Governor of Delaware. Those serving on the CPRB are appointed for three-year terms. Applicants must be residents of the State of Delaware and must demonstrate an interest in children and their welfare through professional experience or community service in law, sociology, psychiatry, education, theology, social work, medicine, or related fields.
CPRB volunteers receive extensive in-house training; when community-based training is appropriate, the cost of this training is underwritten by the CPRB. Board members serve on up to two review committees a month.