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

         MEMO SERIES DCFS 97-07
         October 1, 1997

   Re:   Federal Adoption and Foster
           Care Reporting Requirements



Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau/Office Directors
County Departments of Community Program Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities Service Directors
County Departments of Human Service Directors
Licensed Child Placing Agency Directors
Program Office Directors/section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators


Susan N. Dreyfus
Division of Children and Family Service

Document Summary

Revised adoption and foster care reporting necessary to meet federal requirements will be implemented this Autumn through changes in the Human Services Reporting System and the Adoption Services Report.

Reporting on the federal Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) is required by Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. Fiscal sanctions may be taken against any state for failure to provide complete and timely information.

While the Children in Substitute Care Module and Adoption Module of the Human Services Reporting System (HSRS) have provided most of the required information, some modifications were needed to fully comply. The additional reporting for AFCARS is basic demographic and service information which usually has been recorded in relevant human service records. All public agencies must provide accurate information on a timely basis to assure Wisconsin's compliance with these requirements.

Revised reporting screens for HSRS for public agencies and a revised Adoption Services Report for licensed adoption agencies will be implemented this Autumn to comply with these AFCARS requirements. These changes have been discussed with county agencies at the On-line Users' group meeting and a WSNS message was sent to all public agencies. The existing screens 25 and 26 will each become two screens. (See the attached format of Screen 25. Screen 26 will be the same as Screen 25 except for the addition of a Transfer Agency Code.) .When the revised screens are implemented, the agency will be asked to add the following information about each child when a new case is added or any update occurs:

Children in Substitute Care:

Last review date
Last dispositional hearing date
Kinship care before this placement?
Hispanic origin
Child's disability type
Child ever adopted?
If adopted, date of adoption
Reason for removal from home
Caretaker family structure
Year of birth of caretakers
Date of TPR or death of parent, if applicable
Source of federal support

Adoption Module or Report of Adoption Services

Hispanic origin of child
Mother married at time of child's birth?
Adoptive family structure
Hispanic origin of adoptive parents)
Primary basis for special needs, if applicable

A revised Adoption Services Report will be sent to all licensed adoption agencies and Milwaukee County Human Services Department with instructions to implement the new reporting.

In addition, the HSRS Project will be requesting the following additional information about current and future foster care providers as required for AFCARS reporting:

Provider File

Foster family structure
Year of birth of foster parent(s)
Race of foster parent(s)
Hispanic origin of foster parent(s)

The HSRS Project plans to produce a report listing all foster parents currently reported on the Provider File so the reporting agency can indicate the missing data items. Whenever an agency sends a facsimile or WSNS message to add a new foster home or treatment foster home to the HSRS Providers File, the additional Provider File information must be submitted. Detailed implementation plans regarding HSRS will come through direct correspondence to the information system contacts for each public agency.

To meet federal AFCARS standards, complete information must be entered into the HSRS system for all children reported to the Children in Substitute Care Module and the Adoption Module or foster homes and treatment foster homes on the Provider File on October 1, 1997 or later. Information must be updated and complete for all future cases as the event occurs. The new child welfare information system currently being developed for public agencies will incorporate all the AFCARS reporting requirements.

Thank you for your cooperation with these changes in reporting procedures. Any questions may be referred to the HSRS SOS Desk at 808-266-9198.


Area Administrators




County Foster Care Coordinators
Supervisors, Adoption and Consultation Section

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