DCFS INFO MEMO 98 - 14

        November 12, 1998

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

To: Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
DCFS Bureau Directors
County Departments of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities
     Service Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Direct Services Supervisors
Directors, Private Child Placing Agencies
Licensing Chiefs
Section Chiefs/Managers
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From: Susan N. Dreyfus
Administrator
Division of Children and Family Services
Re: Multiethnic Placement Act and Interethnic Adoption Provisions

Several policy memos in recent years have notified child welfare agencies of the provisions of the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 (MEPA) and the modifications to MEPA created by the Interethnic Adoption provisions of the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996. These memos, including Memo Series 95-45, 97-05 and 97-06, indicate your responsibility to comply with the requirements of these federal laws.

In addition, Informational Memos have been distributed with suggestions regarding recruitment and information about the Indian Child Welfare Act. More information is being provided now.

  • To further assist child welfare agencies with compliance, the federal Administration for Children and Families has recently distributed the attached list of questions raised by the federal General Accounting Office and answers to those questions. These responses may provide helpful information as you apply the provisions of MEPA to specific cases.

  • The attached September 1998 report entitled, "Foster Care, Implementation of the Multiethnic Placement Act Poses Difficult Challenges", states the findings of the General Accounting Office’s investigation. The report also provides the relevant federal laws and HHS Guidance and Clarification.

  • For your information, the American Bar Association, Center on Children and the Law, recently published, "A Guide to the Multiethnic Placement Act (As Amended in 1996)." This publication is available from the American Bar Association, 750 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611, telephone (312) 988-5000, internet info@abanet.org. The Guide is identified as PC# 5490285 with 85 pages and a price of $9.95.

Thorough awareness of the implications of the Multiethnic Placement Act and the Interethnic Adoption Provisions is necessary to document your agency efforts to meet the best interests of children and to comply with these requirements.

REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT: Area Administrator
CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT: Karen Oghalai
Adoption Services Planner
DCFS/BPP
1 West Wilson Street
P. O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
(608) 266-0690

Attachments

cc County Foster Care Coordinators
Adoption Professionals

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