DCFS INFO MEMO 2001-21

December 20, 2001

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 Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities 
      Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Department of Social Services Directors
Section Managers/Licensing Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators

From:

Susan N. Dreyfus
Administrator

RE:

Referral of Child Sexual Abuse Reports to Law Enforcement

The state biennial budget, 2001 Wisconsin Act 16, modified s. 48.981 of the statutes. In brief, s. 48.981(3)(a)3. requires County Departments of Human/Social Services to refer to law enforcement, within twelve hours, all cases of suspected or threatened child sexual abuse reported to it. Further, the county departments and law enforcement agencies "shall coordinate the planning and execution of the investigation of the report." [Ref. s. 48.981(3)(a)4., Stats.] Based on discussions with the Office of Legal Counsel, the Department believes that "cases" of suspected or threatened child sexual abuse do not include reports screened out at intake.

The Department is reviewing how county CPS practices will be impacted by this new statutory requirement and will be issuing additional information in the near future. In the meantime, this requirement is currently in effect now.

A copy of the relevant language from Act 16 is attached for your convenience.  (PDF 285 kb)

REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT:

Area Administrator

CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT:

Mary Dibble
Child Protective Services Specialist
DHFS/DCFS/BPP
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
Phone: (608) 267-2073
FAX: (608) 264-6750
E-mail: dibblms@dhfs.state.wi.us

c:

County CPS Supervisors

 


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