DCFS INFO MEMO 98-12
DSL INFO MEMO 98 - 06

October 22, 1998

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

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
Licensing Chiefs
Program Office Directors/Section Chiefs
From: Sinikka McCabe, Administrator
Division of Supportive Living
Susan N. Dreyfus, Administrator
Division of Children and Family Services
John Chapin, Administrator
Division of Health
Re: Development And Changes To Human Services Departments

This communication is being provided to clarify the requirements that need to be met for Counties to create Human Services Departments.

In July 1975, Section 46.23, Wis. Stats., passed which authorized the establishment of Human Service Boards and Human Services Departments. Since that time, 44 counties have formed Human Services Departments.

In 1994, changes were made to Sections 46.23 and 251.03, Wis. Stats., which affect County Human Services Departments. This memo highlights the changes that were made in 1994.

  1. Section 251.03 of the statutes requires County Human Services Departments which include the public health function to have at least three members on the Human Services Board who have interest or competence in public or community health. In appointing these members to the Board, a good faith effort should be made to appoint a physician and a registered nurse. In addition, the word "Health" is to be included in the title of the County Human Services Agency.

  2. If a county has a separate Department of Developmental Disabilities, s. 46.23, states that the Department of Developmental Disabilities does not have to be included in the Human Services Department (HSD). The Department of Developmental Disabilities can remain a separate Department with a separate board.

  3. At least one member appointed to the Human Services Board must be a person or a family member of a person who receives or has received human services.

Counties with Human Services Departments (HSD) should assure that their current agency and board meet these requirements. Counties which are considering the creation of a Human Services Department and Board need to address these statutory requirements when they plan for an HSD. We have attached the relevant statutes for your information.

REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT: Area Administrators
CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT: Diane Waller
Office of Strategic Finance
1 West Wilson Street
P. O. Box 7850
Madison, WI 53707-7850
(608) 267-8929

Attachments

cc Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators

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