INFO MEMO 98-15

November 24, 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
Program Office Directors
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From: Susan N. Dreyfus
Administrator
Division of Children and Family Services
Re: Concurrent Planning for Children in Out-of-Home Care

The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997 introduced the concept of concurrent planning.

1997 Wisconsin Act 237 (the Budget Adjustment Bill), which contains statutory language implementing the ASFA requirements, includes the following at s.48.355(2b):

(2b) CONCURRENT REASONABLE EFFORTS PERMITTED. A county department, the department, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, or the agency primarily responsible for providing services to a child under a court order may, at the same time as the county department, department or agency is making the reasonable efforts required under sub. (2)(b)6., work with the department, a county department under s.48.57(1)(e) or (hm) or a child welfare agency licensed under s.48.61(5) in making reasonable efforts to place the child for adoption, with a guardian or in some other alternative permanent placement.

This language allows social workers to simultaneously provide reasonable efforts to reunify the family and develop an alternative permanent placement plan. Attached to this memo is material which defines and describes the implications of concurrent planning.

Please share this material with appropriate staff in your agency as well as court staff who may be working with this issue. I hope that you find this information useful as your agency integrates the recent statutory changes.

We will forward additional information on this topic as it becomes available. We will also be providing training on this and related topics within the next year.

REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT: Area Administrator
CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACTS: Karen Oghalai
Adoption Services Planner
DCFS/BPP
1 West Wilson Street
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
(608) 266-0690
e-mail: oghalkg@dhfs.state.wi.us
Verlene Orr
Out-of-Home Care Planner
DCFS/BPP
1 West Wilson Street
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
(608) 261-8084
e-mail: orrvr@dhfs.state.wi.us

Attachment: National Resource Center for Permanency Planning

cc: Directors, Licensed Child Placing Agencies
County Foster Care Coordinators

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