What are Citizen Review Teams?
Citizen Review Teams are volunteer-citizen panels created by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to review and evaluate casework and decision-making about services for children and families who experience child abuse or neglect. Several of these teams are designated as meeting the requirements of federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
There are Citizen Review Teams around the state, each drawing membership from community representatives and private citizens in its area. At least two members of each team must be parents.
Citizen Review Teams meet regularly to review investigations and ongoing interventions conducted by DFPS investigators and caseworkers. They issue reports that DFPS uses to help it improve services and casework practice and to provide accountability for federal funding.
The purpose of each review is to:
- Evaluate the quality of DFPS investigations and interventions.
- Help identify barriers to protecting children from abuse or neglect.
- See if DFPS policy is being followed.
- Identify staff needs in the areas of training, supervision, and program management.
- Give citizens opportunities to play an important role in ensuring that DFPS is meeting its goals of protecting children from abuse and neglect.
What Is Being Done Now?
The reports issued by Citizen Review Teams don't contain information about specific cases. They do give DFPS recommendations on how to improve services to children and families. In an effort to expand citizen input on DFPS services and to comply with federal regulations, Citizen Review Team recommendations with statewide scope are available on this website. The public is encouraged to read and comment on these recommendations. Send your advice and comments to DFPS by email.
In its annual report to the Administration of Children and Families, DFPS submits:
- The recommendations of the local Citizen Review Teams and the actions it took as a result of their observations and comments.
- A compilation of responses from this email box and the actions taken as a result of those additional comments.
What about my case?
Please direct inquiries to your local DFPS investigator, caseworker, or supervisor if you have issues about a specific case. The manager of this mailbox cannot help you.
If you have case-specific questions but do not know which office to call, find a DFPS office near you by using the Contact_Us section of this website.
If you think DFPS is handling your case improperly, and you can't resolve the issue with your investigator, caseworker, or supervisor, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) by calling 1-800-720-7777 or by email.