San Mateo County
Citizen Review Panel
In 1996, the US Congress amended the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) to require states to establish Citizen Review Panels. The federal statute commissions Citizen Review Panels to evaluate the extent to which the state and local agencies are effectively discharging their child protection responsibilities in accordance with the State’s child protective services system plan, which is required for funding under CAPTA and the specific child protection standards contained in CAPTA. Panels may review Child Protective Services cases, data reports, policies, and procedures and any other data considered important to ensure the protection of children.

San Mateo County’s CRP plays a key role in providing input to child welfare policies and procedures. 

San Mateo County CRP has established a linkage with the Children’s Collaborative Action Team (CCAT), which serves as the Child Abuse Prevention entity in the County.  CCAT is composed of parents and executive directors and staff from community agencies who work with at-risk children and children who have been victims of abuse and neglect.  CRP sends a representative to CCAT meetings and uses CCAT as a public forum for reporting on its work. 

CRP Focus - Fiscal Year 2013-2014

1.CRP recommends that Children and Family Services use qualitative and quantitative measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the current Team Decision Making model, in relation to the primary objectives of the program.  CFS should assess whether Team Decision Making is the most appropriate process for the variety of situations in which it is being used.

2.CRP recommends that CFS and Juvenile Probation work together to establish a protocol to ensure that dependents and wards of the Juvenile Court who may be eligible for AB 12 when they turn 18, and those youth who are non-minor dependents under AB 12 in both agencies, are getting the same level of preparation, supports and services.

In addition, the two agencies should take steps to ensure that all staff case managing AB 12 youth are getting the training they need to diligently support this population.

3.CRP recommends that CFS assess the effectiveness of current mental health and visitation programs in helping families to reunify successfully.



2012-2013 Annual Report 

2011-2012 Annual Report  

2010-2011 Annual Report


2013-2014 Recommendations

Response from Children and Family Services to Citizens Review Panel Recommendations for 2013-2014


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has…”
              Margaret Mead