The Alaska 'Citizens Review Panel': How The Panel Works With OCS

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The Citizens Review Panel has been in operation for over 10 years, but a lot of people may not know they exist.

The CRP works with the Office of Children's Services as a checks and balance guard to ensure OCS is staying in compliance with federal guidelines.

According to Chairman, Diwakar Vadapalli, panels are given three functions under federal statute, with CRP's main function reviewing state and local child protection services policies, practices, and procedures that impact the children and families these agencies serve.

After the panel makes recommendations in cases, the agency in question is required to respond in writing, within 6 months, about how, or if, they are choosing to implement the recommendation.

Diwakar Vadapalli, CRP Chairman:
"We look at the differences between what is desirable and what is actually happening in practice and what is stated in policy that should be happening in practice. Once we identify those differences, if we see any gaps, it is the job of the panel to suggest changes, recommend changes in policies, procedures, and practices of these CPS agencies, child protection service agencies, to bridge those gaps.

For more information you can visit their website at www.crpalaska.org
We will have a more in-depth report on CRP later this week.