June 14, 2004

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



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/Licensing Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators


Kitty Kocol



Recently Enacted Legislation (Acts 271, 284, 287, 289, 292, 301)


 The Governor has recently signed several pieces of legislation into law. A brief description of these new laws is found below along with the web addresses where the acts can be found. I hope you find this helpful.

2003 Wisconsin Act 271; Authorizing HIV Test

Under previous law, certain professionals who, in the course of their professional duties, become "significantly exposed" to individuals may request that the individual undergo a test for the presence of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and may have access to the results of that test. This change in the law adds additional professionals to the list of persons who can require that test and have access to the results of the test. These new additions are social workers and a variety of persons employed by certain educational institutions or agencies. "Significantly exposed" is defined at s. 252.15(1)(em), Stats.

Under this change, if a social worker is significantly exposed to the individual and certain conditions described in s. 252.15(2)(a)7.ai. to c., Stats. are met, the social worker can require the personís blood to be tested for the presence of HIV, antigen or nonantigenic products of HIV, or an antibody to HIV. The social worker may receive disclosure of the results of the test.

A social worker, under the new law, is defined as "an individual who is certified or licensed as a social worker, advanced practice social worker, independent social worker, or clinical social worker" under Ch. 457, Stats.

Effective Date: This change in the law became effective on May 1, 2004.

Web Address: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/acts/03Act271.pdf

2003 Wisconsin Act 284; Delinquent Acts by an American Indian Juvenile Off of the Reservation by Tribal Court Order

This is a fairly complex new law that we will not fully summarize here. This change in the law was created in response to a Court of Appeals decision in In the Interest of Elmer J.K. III, 224 Wis. 2d 372, 591 N.W.2d 176 in 1999. That decision basically stated that if an Indian child was placed by a tribal court off of the reservation or trust land (except for court orders related to adoption, physical placement or visitation with the juvenileís parent, or permanent guardianship) and the juvenile committed a delinquent act, jurisdiction would be with the state court and that the tribal court would not have jurisdiction. A detailed Legislative Council note is included with the act that clearly summarizes the impact of the revised law.

This change in the law does not directly affect jurisdiction, but creates a process for determining whether jurisdiction should be with the state court or with the tribal court. The new law impacts on the actions of court intake workers, District Attorneys or Corporation Counsel, and the courts. It is recommended that all county agencies discuss the content of this act with all of the actors affected and at least the tribes with which a county primarily deals. Please note that the Indian child may be placed in a group home or residential care center in a county in which the tribe is not located, so all counties must be aware of this new law.

Effective Date: This law became effective on May 1, 2004.

Web Address: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/acts/03Act284.pdf

2003 Wisconsin Act 287; Statute of Limitations on Child Support

Under current law, with one exception, action on a judgment or decree regarding child support must be commenced within 20 years after the judgment or decree was entered. This law provides for an additional exception to this limit. Under the change in the law, the action to collect child support under a judgment or order entered under Ch. 767, s. 48.355(2)(b)4., 48.357(5m)(a), 48.363(2), 938.183(4), 938.355(2)(b)4., 938.357(5m)(a), 938.363(2), or 948.22(7), must be commenced within 20 years after the youngest child for whom the support was ordered turns age 18 or, if the child is enrolled full-time in high school or its equivalent, turns age 19.

Effective Date: This law applies to actions to collect child support on or after 
May 1, 2004.

Web Address: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/acts/03Act287.pdf

2003 Wisconsin Act 289; Income Tax Deduction for College Savings Account or College Tuition and Expenses Program

Under current law, certain people may claim an income tax deduction for the above programs if the person is the claimant, the claimantís child or the claimantís grandchild. This change in the law allows the same income tax deduction to apply to a claimant who provides contributions to these programs for the claimantís great-grandchild or nephew or niece. This means, in essence, that a great-grandparent or aunt or uncle may contribute to these programs on behalf of his or her great-grandchild or nephew or niece and claim a tax deduction for that contribution.

This may be an opportunity to garner additional support for children in out-of-home care to attend post-secondary education, especially for those who age out of out-of-home care. Discussions with great-grandparents and aunts and uncles regarding this may be beneficial to children served in our Independent Living Programs.

Effective Date: This new law applies to any such contributions made on or after 
January 1, 2004.

Web Address: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/acts/03Act289.pdf

2003 Wisconsin Act 292; Confidentiality of Pupil Records; Exchange of Information Between Schools, the Juvenile Justice System, and Law Enforcement Agencies

The definition of "pupil records" under s. 118.125(1)(d), Stats., is enlarged to include the records of law enforcement units. "Law enforcement units" are defined as an individual or entity authorized by the school board to enforce laws or make referrals to enforce laws or to maintain the physical security and safety of a public school. The new law also defines "record" as "any material on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual, or electromagnetic information is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics."

The law also adds two circumstances under which pupil records can be released by the school. The first is, for purposes of providing services to a pupil before adjudication, to a law enforcement agency, District Attorney, City Attorney, Corporation Counsel, the Department of Corrections, a county agency, a licensed child welfare agency, a court intake worker under both Chs. 48 and 938, the court of record, municipal court, private school, or another school board. This must be done only pursuant to an interagency agreement and if the person to whom the records are to be released certifies in writing that the records will not be further disclosed except as provided by law.

The second exception is that a school board may disclose such records to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of any individual.

The new law also allows law enforcement agencies to share law enforcement records with a school if a juvenile has been taken into custody for a violation of state or federal criminal law. Prior to this change, this sharing of information could only occur if a juvenile was taken into custody by law enforcement for those violations that create eligibility for placement of the juvenile in the serious juvenile offender program.

The new law also allows law enforcement agencies to enter into interagency agreements with school boards, private schools, social welfare agencies, and other law enforcement agencies that would provide for the routine disclosure of law enforcement records under 
s. 938.396(1) and (1m), Stats.

Under current law, if a person seeks access to a law enforcement record and is denied access to that record, the person may petition the court for access. The court then notifies the parties and if anyone objects to the access, the court may hold a hearing on the petition. Under the new law, this process remains the same for access to most law enforcement records, but if access is sought to a selected few types of law enforcement records, the court will review the requested records and decide if the record should be released and issue an appropriate order. The petitioner then provides a copy of the disclosure order to the affected parties who may, at that time, request a hearing on the courtís order.

Finally, the new law includes an allowance for the Department of Corrections, a county agency, or a private child welfare agency to enter into an interagency agreement with a school board, a private school, a law enforcement agency, or another social welfare agency that provides for the routine disclosure of certain information from the agency records under s. 938.78.

Effective Date: This law became effective on May 5, 2004

Web Address: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/acts/03Act292.pdf

2003 Wisconsin Act 301; Qualifications for a Clinical Social Worker

Under current law, a person may become a clinical social worker only if that person met the licensing requirements through training and experience as part of his or her achievement of a masterís or doctorate degree. This new law amends the statutes in such a way that a person who has achieved a masterís or doctorate degree in social work may, at some later time, meet the additional requirements for licensure as a clinical social worker without having to return to school to earn another masterís or doctorate degree.

Effective Date: This law is to be applied to applications for a clinical social work license received on or after May 5, 2004.

Web Address: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2003/data/acts/03Act301.pdf





Mark S. Mitchell, Manager
Policy Coordination Section
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
Phone: (608) 261-8316
FAX: (608) 264-6750
E-Mail: mitchms@dhfs.state.wi.us


County CPS Supervisors
County Foster Care Coordinators
Directors, Private Child Placing Agencies
Tribal ICW Staff
Nic Dibble, DPI
Pam Eitland, DOC/DJC

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