February 21, 2001

Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services


To: Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Departments of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities
         Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From: Susan N. Dreyfus
Re: Educational Services for Children Placed in Out-of-Home Care

Developing and implementing educational programming for children and youth placed in out-of-home care necessitates schools and County Human and Social Services Departments working together in the best interests of these young people. This collaborative effort is facilitated when each system understands the priorities, mandates and statutory authority of the other system.

In 1993, a cross-agency work group from the Departments of Public Instruction (DPI) and then-Health and Social Services (DHSS) developed a document entitled "Children Placed in Foster Homes: Questions and Answers" in response to the needs of local education agencies and County Human and Social Services Departments. Recently, this work group was reconvened to update and expand this document to keep it current with state and federal laws.

This is a collection of questions frequently asked by staff from school districts and social services agencies. It is designed to help explain the basic terminology used and processes followed by schools and social services agencies related to educational programming for students placed in out-of-home care. The questions in this document are divided into several categories: foster home placement, licensure and supervision of foster homes, provision of services, interagency cooperation, funding, child abuse and neglect, student discipline, and special education.

Both DPI and DHFS hope you will use this document to help improve services to youth placed in out-of-home care. Questions regarding the education portions of this document should be directed to DPI to the Special Education Team at (608) 266-1781 or the Student Services/Prevention and Wellness Team at
(608) 266-8960. Questions regarding the social services portion of this document should be directed to the Bureau of Programs and Policies at (608) 266-3036.

This document can be found at the following Web sites:

Department of Public Instruction: http://www.dpi.state.wi.us/dpi/dlsea/een/bulindex.html (exit DHFS)

Department of Health and Family Services:

CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT: Mark S. Mitchell, Manager
Child Welfare Services Section
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
Phone: (608) 266-2860
FAX: (608) 264-6750
E-Mail: mitchms@dhfs.state.wi.us


Educational Services for Children Placed in Out-of-Home Care 
(PDF 167 kb)

cc: County Foster Care Coordinators
Private Child Placing Agency Contact Persons
Anne Rankin, WFAPA

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