Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare

Requests for Child Protective Services (CPS) Background Checks

Wis. Stat. § 48.981(7) governs who can receive information from Child Protective Services investigation reports and is very strict about release of such information. It is not available to the general public, but only to persons and agencies and for purposes specified in the statute. Even with a signed consent to release information form from the person who is the subject of the report, it may not be possible to legally obtain this information from the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.

Some examples of persons and entities who can receive information from these investigation reports are attorneys for persons who are the subjects of the report (with written consent from their clients), child placing agencies for purposes of investigating a home for foster care licensing or an adoption agency investigating the individual for purposes of placing a child in the home for adoption. There are numerous other agencies who may be able to access this information and persons and agencies who are seeking access to information from Child Protective Services investigation reports from the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare should consult Wis. Stat. § 48.981(7) for further information.

Request Form

Form for Requesting CPS Background Check for Milwaukee County Residents

How to Request a CPS Background Check

The following protocol is used when requesting Child Protective Services (CPS) background checks from the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. Child placing agencies, employers working with children, and others who are responsible for ensuring the safety of children may request CPS background checks on individuals accepting children for placement, employees, or volunteers with their agency/organization.

  1. Agencies that make requests for background checks on a regular basis are asked to provide a lead individual to request and to receive the CPS background check information. The names of these individuals should be provided to both Gail Zellner and Devon Grice (email addresses below).

  2. All requests for CPS background checks should be made using form DCF-2609-E linked above.

    • A separate form is required for each request. It should be scanned and emailed as an attachment.

    • The agency requesting the background check is required to keep the original form with signature on file.

  3. Email with the completed form:

    • Should contain in their subject line CPS Background Check – (Agency Name). The number of requests attached to the email should be cited in the body of the email.

    • Should be directed to Gail Zellner at gail.zellner@wisconsin.gov and Devon Grice at devon.grice@wisconsin.gov.

    • Will be confirmed with an email response to the requestor indicating the request has been received by the BMCW.

  4. If it is not possible to email the request, it may be faxed to 414-220-7062. You will receive an email stating the fax has been received.

The turnaround time for BMCW responses to CPS background checks will be 10 business days. Requests for background checks received after 12 noon will be considered as received the next business day. If a background check request cannot be filled within 10 business days, BMCW will contact the person making the request by the 7th business day with an explanation for the delay as well as a revised date for completion of the request.

Key BMCW contacts for background checks: Gail Zellner, phone414-343-5747 or Devon Grice, phone 414-343-5703.


The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.


Last Revised: February 27, 2014