DCFS INFO MEMO 98 - 09

September 4, 1998

STATE OF WISCONSIN
Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services

To: Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Departments of Community Program Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities
     Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Direct Services Supervisors
Licensing Chiefs
Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From: Susan N. Dreyfus
Administrator
Re: Notifying Out-Of-Home Care Providers Of Court Hearings

During the recent legislative session, several changes were made to Ch. 48, Wis. Stats., regarding notification to out-of-home care providers of court hearings and the right of the out-of-home care provider to make a statement at the hearing. The following is a summary of the statutes incorporating the recent changes made by 1997 WI Acts 80 and 237 relating to the issue of provider notification. The highlighted sections indicate the differences between the types of court hearings. For purposes of this memo, out-of-home care provider means the child’s foster parent, treatment foster parent or other physical custodian of the child described in s. 48.62(2). In all situations, the statement by the out-of-home care provider needs to be relevant to the issues to be determined at the hearing and the out-of-home care provider does not become a party to the proceeding solely on the basis of receiving notice and an opportunity to be heard.

  1. The out-of-home care provider must be notified of all hearings on matters related to children in need of protection or services (CHIPS) except hearings on motions for which notice need only be provided to the child and his or her counsel. The out-of-home care provider must be given an opportunity to be heard at the hearing by making a written or oral statement during the hearing or submitting a written statement prior to the hearing.

  2. The out-of-home care provider must be notified of any change of placement, revision of disposition, and extension hearing and must be given an opportunity to make a written or oral statement during the hearing. This statement must be made under oath or affirmation.

  3. The out-of-home care provider must be notified of all hearings on a Termination of Parental Rights petition and be given an opportunity to be heard by making a written or oral statement during the hearing or submitting a written statement prior to the hearing.

For additional information regarding the procedure for giving notice and other information, please refer to the appropriate statutory sections.

REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT: Area Administrator
CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT: Verlene Orr
Out-of-Home Care Planner
DCFS/BPP
1 West Wilson Street
P. O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
(608) 264-6750
c Directors, Private Child Placing Agencies
County Foster Care Coordinators

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