Job Description

Minnesota Department of Human Services - Job Description

Title: Volunteer Citizen Review Panel Member

Volunteer Experience Can Offer

  • A meaningful, important volunteer experience that will add skills, provide insights, interests and challenges.
  • Access to a wide variety of community resources and people.
  • Access to and an understanding of the child protection system and Juvenile Court proceedings.
  • An opportunity to actively participate on the behalf of abused and neglected children.
  • An opportunity to have a positive impact by addressing the disparities of the numbers of children and families of color involved in the child protection system.
  • An opportunity to promote and affect positive changes for the well-being of children.
  • An opportunity to put your interests, talents and expertise to good use for a worthy cause.
  • An opportunity to update and add to your resume.
  • Initial orientation regarding the child protection system that includes:
    • Case plans and efforts to reunite families
    • Child abuse and neglect issues
    • Child development and attachment issues
    • Cultural considerations including the Indian Child Welfare Act and heritage preservation
    • Foster care, alternatives to family reunification
    • The best interests of children
    • The court process
    • The disparities of the numbers of children and families of color involved in the child protection system
    • The dynamics of domestic violence
  • In-service training on topics such as cultural diversity, chemical and mental health, education and community resources.
  • Ongoing professional support and consultation.
  • Reimbursement for mileage, parking and other approved out of pocket expenses.

Qualifications & Skills

  • Ability to articulate ideas, concerns and thoughts
  • Ability to listen, be open minded, non judgmental and constructive
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Common sense and maturity
  • Desire to have a positive impact on the child protection service system and those involved
  • Desire to learn about the current child protection service system
  • Desire to promote needed changes in the child protection system as identified by the panels
  • Genuine concern and compassion for those involved in the child protection service system
  • May not be a current county attorney's office, district court, social or court services employee, a foster care provider or a paid guardian ad litem of a county in which a panel operates
  • May not currently be involved in a child protection, child custody dispute or criminal matter
  • Must maintain confidentiality
  • Must sign releases authorizing a criminal records check and a child maltreatment records check
  • Sensitivity to cultural, ethnic and economic diversity
  • Willingness to make an initial commitment of 2 years

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Advocate for needed resources to protect children from abuse and neglect and to ensure permanent homes for children in a timely manner
  • Assist in the analysis of the information gathered
  • Assist in the compilation of an annual report summarizing the activities of the panel
  • Attend and participate in all meetings (Panels meet monthly)
  • Complete initial orientation
  • Gather information by conducting interviews, reviewing files, records and reports
  • Increase community understanding, ownership and investment in child protection
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Make recommendations for needed policy changes and suggest corrective actions
  • Participate in educational activities to better understand the child protection system
  • Promote cooperation among community resources and child protection service agencies
  • Provide feedback on what is working well
  • Review the child protection service agency's consistency of practice and compliance with stated policies, laws and procedures
  • Submit reimbursement claims and other requested records in a timely manner