Citizen Panel Review

Contact Information


Anne Blaylock,
Program Coordinator


Philip F. Woodward,
Judge


Robbie Walka,
Administrator

rwalka@whitfieldcountyga.com


Whitfield County Juvenile Court
205 N Selvidge St
Dalton, Ga 30720
706 278-6558


Location


The Whitfield County Juvenile Court is located in the Ground Floor of the Whitfield County Courthouse in Dalton, Georgia and is a department within the government of Whitfield County.


Whitfield County is located approximately 90 miles northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, on Interstate 75 and U.S. Highways 41 and 76


Juvenile Court Seal


Juvenile Court Seal


General Information


In years past, dependant children who were removed from their families and placed in foster care were reviewed by the Court every two years. Needless to say, it was easy for a child to suffer in foster care and there was little court monitored effort to reunify families.


That changed in 1989 when the Court instituted the Judicial-Citizen Panel Review Program (Panels). Panel members are specially trained citizen-volunteers who work in groups of five. Each Panel meets together monthly to review the welfare of children in Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS) custody. They consider the progress the child is making, the effectiveness of the current Court order, the compliance of parents and caseworkers with the Court order. This information is gathered by meeting with parents, the child, educators, caseworkers, and treatment professionals at the Panel hearings. Ultimately, the Panel makes suggestions for change that will best serve the child during the next six months. Panel members must be familiar with community services, child development, education issues, drug treatment issues, medical and psychological issues. Their training is provided by the Court and by the Council of Juvenile Court Judges of Georgia. After initial training each Panel members must attend five hours of training per year.The Panel's ultimate task is to see that the child is in a permanent home as soon as safely possible. The permanent home may be back with parents or guardians who have improved their parenting practices, with a relative, with an adoptive family, or with another permanent home approved by the Court. If the Panels are operating effectively, no child should be expected to grow up in foster care.


If you desire further information about the Judicial-Citizen Review Panel Program, please call:


Anne Blaylock, (Program Coordinator)
205 N Selvidge St
Dalton, GA 30720
706 281-4619