DCFS INFO MEMO 2005 - 06       September 12, 2005

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/Licensing Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From:  Burnie Bridge
Re: Program Options for Hurricane Katrina Evacuees and eWiSACWIS Tracking Procedures

This memo provides information concerning options that would enable both state and local child welfare agencies to assist children and families who have been evacuated from disaster areas as a result of Hurricane Katrina and are being or will be served by the child welfare system in Wisconsin. In addition, this memo provides direction on how DCFS will track Hurricane Katrina evacuee children who come to Wisconsin and utilize child welfare services.

The following procedure will be used to track access to child welfare services by Hurricane Katrina evacuees to Wisconsin:

The Person Management Window in eWiSACWIS is used to set up person records. The Additional Tab on that window has reporting information fields in which caseworkers can enter up to three client characteristics. Hurricane Katrina will be added as a client characteristic in the drop down list for the reporting information fields on the Additional Tab. This will allow caseworkers to designate persons as Hurricane Katrina evacuees. This will enable DCFS to develop ad hoc reports to identify these clients and what child welfare services they received. The change to the drop down list is effective immediately.

Attached to this memo are the following DCFS Program Service Options and eWiSACWIS Procedures, which are designed to provide information to county and state staff on how certain information will be gathered and what some service options are for victims of the hurricane:

Item: Purpose:
  1. Decision Tree 
Screener guide for gathering information about children who arrive in Wisconsin to determine immediate health and placement needs.
  1. Placement Options 
    for  Children Arriving Without an Adult Caregiver
Placement and licensing considerations for children arriving without a responsible adult to care for them.
  1. Options for Non-Relative Caregivers of Children Displaced as a Result of Hurricane Katrina
Provides options to give authority to non-relative caregivers to make decisions for children in their care.
  1. Interstate Compact 
    on the Placement of Children
Provides guidance for gathering information about children transferred to Wisconsin for placement in out-of-home care to ensure all interacting states are aware of the transfer and provides information about the waiver of the ICPC process for children transferred across state lines due to Hurricane Katrina.

A hotline has been established at the national level for providing information and assistance to evacuees and their families. The toll-free number is 1-866-211-3380 and is available 24 hours per day.

Thank you for your efforts in this unusual time.


Child Welfare Standards Specialist
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708
Phone: (608) 261-8084
FAX: (608) 264-6750
e-mail: hermajj@dhfs.state.wi.us 

Decision tree for children displaced by Hurricane Katrina  (PDF, 30 kb)
Placement options for children displaced by Hurricane Katrina arriving in Wisconsin without an adult caregiver (PDF, 15 kb)
Options for providing caregiver decision-making authority to persons who are not relatives or parents of a child in their care displaced by Hurricane Katrina  
(PDF, 13 kb)

Interstate Compact Procedures on the placement of children displaced by Hurricane Katrina  (PDF, 10 kb)

c: BRL Regional Supervisors
County Foster Care Coordinators
Directors, Private Child Placing Agencies


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