DCFS INFO MEMO 99-17

         December 28, 1999

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

To: Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Department of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities
    Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Program Office Directors/Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From: Susan N. Dreyfus
Administrator
Re: Kinship Care

Legislative Issues

The purpose of this memo is to alert you that there were no substantial changes to the Kinship Care program in the biennial budget, 1999 Wisconsin Act 9. As you may be aware, the budget, as passed by the Legislature, included provisions that would have allowed Kinship Care payments, in certain circumstances, beyond the age of 18. In addition, the budget, as passed by the Legislature, would have revised the process by which an applicant for Kinship Care who is denied a payment based on criminal background would appeal that decision. The budget would have changed that process from review by the agency director or person designated by the tribal governing body to appeals to the Division of Hearings and Appeals. Both of these provisions were vetoed by the Governor.

As a result, Kinship Care payments must be terminated when the child turns age 18. If a person is denied a payment or has a payment terminated as a result of a criminal background check, the review remains with the agency director or the person designated by the tribal governing body.

The budget did make changes to Kinship Care allocations. The amount of funding for Kinship Care benefits was decreased. That decrease has been reflectected in individual allocations. In addition, we revised individual allocations to reflect actual experience under Kinship Care rather than AFDC/NLRR.

In addition, as you are aware, there were four allocations for Kinship Care: assessments and benefits for Kinship Care and for Kinship Care/Foster Care. The latter two allocations have been folded into Community Aids and counties may, if they choose, simply add that amount to their regular foster care line.

Finally, Assembly Bill 587 has recently been introduced. This bill would include second cousins as relatives for purposes of Kinship Care.

Other Issues

  1. We are revising the paper forms for Kinship Care (CFS-2100 and 2100A) and the electronic system to reflect the additional data elements required by the final federal regulations for TANF reporting. Once those changes are made, which we are assuming will be in the near future, we will supply you with the summary forms we have discussed previously. At that same time, agencies which have elected to report electronically (by either e-mail or disk) will begin to report that way.

  2. A new form, CFS-2147, has been created to capture minimal information on applicants whose applications are denied. This is also required by federal TANF regulations. That form will be distributed soon.

  3. We are still getting monthly reports from many agencies that have no cover memo or note indicating for what month the reports are being submitted. This, coupled with the fact that some agencies seem to be submitting completed forms throughout the month as they are completed, has made it very difficult to determine what is being submitted. That has resulted in some confusion as to whether or not an agency has submitted a monthly report. Please indicate what you are submitting and submit all forms for the month as one package.

Thank you for your continuing cooperation and good work with this important program.

 

REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT: Area Administrator
CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT: Mark S. Mitchell, Manager
Child Welfare Services Section
DHFS/DCFS, P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
Phone: (608) 266-2860
FAX: 608-264-6750
e-mail: mitchms@dhfs.state.wi.us

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