Citizens Review Board for Children

Program Description

The Citizen Review Board for Children (CRBC) consists of representatives from state and local boards in each county. Since inception, CRBC members have contributed more than one million hours of volunteer service.

The CRBC reviews cases of children in out-of-home placement and monitors child welfare programs, making recommendations for system improvements.

One Unified Volunteer Voice for Safety, Permanency and Advocacy

The Citizens Review Board for Children (CRBC) supports all efforts to provide permanence for children in foster care. This state board provides oversight to Maryland’s child protection agencies and trains volunteer citizen panels to aid in child protection efforts.

CRBC Mission Statement

To conduct case reviews of children in out-of-home care, make timely individual case and systemic recommendations; and advocate for legislative and systematic child welfare improvements to promote safety and permanency.

CRBC Vision Statement

We envision the protection of all children from abuse and neglect, only placing children in out-of-home care when necessary; and providing families the help they need to stay intact; children will be safe in a permanent living arrangement.

The State Board reviews and coordinates the activities of the local review boards. The board also examines policy issues, procedures, legislation, resources and barriers relating to out-of-home placement and the permanency of children. The state board makes recommendations to the General Assembly around ways of improving Maryland’s child welfare system.

Local Boards meet monthly to conduct six month reviews of children in care. Recommendations regarding the department’s permanency plan for a child are made to the juvenile court. The court has final responsibility for decisions regarding the child, but the board may recommend that the child return to his/her natural parent or guardian; be placed for adoption; become independent; or be placed in care. There are currently 54 local review boards throughout the state.

Members of local boards consist of volunteer citizens chosen by a local selection committee, recommended by the Secretary of DHR and appointed by the Governor. A board has seven members each serving a four-year term.

Because of conflicts of interest, elected officials, paid employees of DHR, attorneys who represent LDSS, and people with state adoptions pending are not eligible to serve as board members.