Citizens Review Panel For Children


Montgomery County Code Section 27-49A


The Panel implements State law regarding local citizens review boards and evaluates state and local agency responses to child protection needs; the advisory group provides technical and professional advice to the panel about child protective services. Members serve three year terms without compensation.


The Citizens Review Panel has 9 to 14 members. The Executive must appoint 7 members. No more than 3 members may be members of the Commission on Children and Youth who are separately confirmed by the Council as Panel members. One member each must be a County resident selected under State law by:

  • the State Citizens Review Board for Children; and
  • the State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect.

The Executive may appoint, subject to confirmation by the Council, not more than 5 additional non-voting members to provide technical and professional advice to the Panel about child protective services. These members must have experience in preventing and treating child abuse and neglect, such as child advocates, volunteers of the court-appointed special advocate program, attorneys who represent children, parents and consumer representatives, and health and human services professionals. These members each serve a term of 3 years. A panel member should consider the advice of these members, but must exercise independent judgment in evaluating their advice.

Each member of the Panel must be a volunteer who:

  • exercises the member's own free will in all deliberations of the Panel;
  • acts independently of any outside influence, particularly the member's employer;
  • does not represent any agency or organization; and
  • is not a County or State employee, or spouse or domestic partner of an employee, whose participation would be inconsistent with County Council policies regarding appointment of government employees to boards, committees, and commissions.


The Citizens Review Panel must:

  • implement State law regarding local citizens review boards;
  • examine the policies and procedures of State and local agencies and, where appropriate, specific cases to evaluate the extent to which these agencies in the County are effectively fulfilling their responsibilities to implement the child protection standards and State plan under 42 U.S.C. § 5106a(b) and any other criteria that the panel considers important for the protection of children;
  • report the Panel's findings to the Executive, the Council, the State Citizens Review Board for Children, and the State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect;
  • within 60 days after the end of each fiscal year, prepare and make available to the public a report summarizing the Panel's activities during the fiscal year; and
  • carry out other duties as requested to assist the County Department of Health and Human Services, the State Citizens Review Board for Children, and the State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect.
    • Terms of office. The term of a Panel member is 3 years.
    • Compensation. Members of the Panel must not receive compensation for their services. A member may receive reimbursement for expenses incurred in connection with the member's service on the Panel, subject to appropriations.


  • Stacey McNeely – Chair - Voting Member
  • Tinuade Akinshola - Voting Member
  • Kenneth Beale - Voting Member
  • Laura Brown – Technical Professional Advisor – Non Voting Member
  • Laura Coyle - Voting Member
  • Kay Farley (representative from the State Citizens Review Board as required)
  • Shaoli Katana - Voting Member
  • Elizabeth Simon - Voting Member
  • Ron Whalen - Voting Member


Lisa Merkin
Organization/Agency: Department of Health and Human Services