The Child Placement Review (CPR) program is a key component of the court's role in the oversight of children in foster care. Groups of trained judicial volunteers, appointed by the assignment judge, assist the court in reviewing cases of children placed outside of their homes by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP). A volunteer is assigned to a CPR Board, consisting of about 5 volunteers, to review these cases.
CPR Boards conduct various reviews of children involved in "voluntary placement" cases. In such cases, DCPP has placed a child out of his or her home pursuant to a voluntary agreement signed by the parent but there is no allegation of abuse or neglect and DCPP has not filed a child abuse or neglect complaint case against the parent. In "litigated" cases, for which DCPP has filed a child abuse or neglect complaint, a CPR Board conducts one review to determine the progress made by DCPP in addressing the child's needs and any potential barriers to finding a safe, permanent home for the child. These litigated cases remain under the direct oversight of a judge.
In all cases, CPR Boards draft case-specific recommendations for the consideration of a judge. At CPR Board meetings, held at designated court facilities on a scheduled basis, the Board may interact with DCPP caseworkers or their supervisors, parents, foster parents, or other child welfare stakeholders. CPR volunteers complete court-sponsored initial training upon appointment as well as annual continuing education programs dealing with current child welfare issues, ensuring their meaningful participation in the child placement review process. A representative from each CPR Board statewide is selected annually to be a member of the New Jersey Child Placement Advisory Council (CPAC). For more information about CPAC, please visit: www.njcpac.org.