An increased emphasis on accountability in child protective services led to a 1996 amendment to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) that mandated the establishment of Citizen Review Panels in each state receiving funding through this federal grant. Citizen Review Panels are charged with evaluating the child protective services (CPS) system.
In South Carolina, there are three panels located in different geographic areas of the state. The Upstate Panel meets in Greenwood County; the Midlands Panel meets in Richland County; and the Lowcountry Panel meets in Charleston County. Panels review policies, procedures, and practices of the CPS system and make recommendations annually to the South Carolina Department of Social Services. These recommendations help improve the CPS system and make a difference in the lives of children who are abused or neglected. Citizen Review Panels offer volunteers an effective way to share in the community’s responsibility to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens—the children of South Carolina.
The Center for Child and Family Studies, located in the College of Social Work at the University of South Carolina, coordinates the work of the CRP.
Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering with one our panels. We seek the strengths and different perspectives offered by persons of various cultural backgrounds, religions, ethnicity, gender, race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, and age. Our only qualification is a desire to improve the lives of our children by donating your time and talents.
South Carolina Citizen Review Panels
c/o The Center for Child and Family Studies
USC College of Social Work
Columbia SC 29208
Phone: 866-263-3139 (toll-free)