CHILD PROTECTIVE ACT
16-1647. citizen review panels — child protection legislative review panel. (1) Each public health district, as set forth in section 39-408, Idaho Code, shall establish a citizen review panel for the purposes of evaluating and providing recommendations for the improvement of the child protection system within its respective health district.
(2) Each citizen review panel shall be comprised of up to seven (7) members. Members shall reside within the boundaries of the public health district.
(3) The public health districts shall develop an application and process for selecting citizen review panel members. The public health districts shall be responsible for convening the meetings of the citizen review panels and providing administrative support to coordinate meeting times and reports. Panel members shall be volunteers broadly representative of the community in which the panel is established and include members who have expertise in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect and may include adult former victims of child abuse or neglect. An effort shall be made to create a panel comprised of members from diverse professional backgrounds who demonstrate a strong motivation to improve the lives of children. Panel members must pass a criminal background check.
(4) Each citizen review panel shall review all cases brought under the child protective act that have been open in the corresponding district court, or other appropriate local jurisdiction, longer than one hundred twenty (120) days.
(5) Citizen review panel members shall be granted access to copies of all records in the department’s custody related to the child and case under review including all information pertaining to prior referrals, prior safety assessments, all court filings and any police reports. The department shall give citizen review panel members access to copies of any additional records within the department’s custody upon request. The department shall develop a memorandum of understanding addressing delivery, maintenance and destruction of all records, which must be signed by the panel member before accessing department records.
(6) Representative members from each of the seven (7) citizen review panels shall meet at least quarterly to discuss trends and concerns arising in different areas of the state. Meetings may take place telephonically, electronically or in person.
(7) Each citizen review panel shall produce a quarterly report containing a summary of the activities of the panel and offering recommendations to improve the child protection system experience for children. Reports shall be provided to the department and presented to the child protection legislative review panel established in subsection (9) of this section during its next meeting. Reports shall be exempt from public disclosure in the same manner as are records of investigations prepared by the department pursuant to section 74-105(7), Idaho Code.
(8) The department shall submit an annual written response to citizen review panel reports. This response shall be made available to the public and presented to the child protection legislative review panel established in subsection (9) of this section.
(9) A child protection legislative review panel is hereby established. The panel shall be comprised of four (4) members of the house of representatives chosen by the speaker of the house, with one (1) such member chosen from the house health and welfare committee and one (1) such member chosen from the house judiciary, rules and administration committee and four (4) members of the senate chosen by the president pro tempore, with one (1) such member chosen from the senate health and welfare committee and one (1) such member chosen from the senate judiciary and rules committee. The child protection legislative review panel shall meet as needed, but at least twice annually, to review citizen review panel reports and the department’s annual response and for other purposes related to child protection. The child protection legislative review panel shall prepare an annual report summarizing citizen review panel recommendations and the department’s response and shall submit that report to the United States department of health and human services annually.
[16-1647, added 2018, ch. 287, sec. 6, p. 686.]