STATE OF WISCONSIN
Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services
        MEMO SERIES DCFS 97-10
        November 6, 1997

 Re:  COURT ORDERS; CONTRARY
       TO WELFARE LANGUAGE

 

To: Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities
     Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Direct Services Supervisors
Licensing Chiefs
Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From: Susan N. Dreyfus
Administrator
Division of Children and Family Services

DOCUMENT SUMMARY

This memo describes new statutory language which requires, when a child is placed outside of his or her home, that a court find that remaining in his or her home would be contrary to the child's welfare.

As you are aware, court orders under s.48.355, Stats., are required to include certain contents, including a finding as to whether an agency has made reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of a child from his or her home or to return the child to his or her home. In the State’s biennial budget (1977 WI Act 27), a change was made which now requires the court to also enter a finding that continued placement of the child in his or her home would be contrary to the welfare of the child.

Section 48.355(2)(b)6., as amended by Act 27, now reads as follows:

6. If the child is placed outside the home, the court’s a finding that continued placement of the child in his or her home would be contrary to the welfare of the child and a finding as to whether a the county department which provides social services, the department, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, or the agency primarily responsible for the provision of services under a court order has made reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of the child from the home or, if applicable, that the agency primarily responsible for the provision of services under a court order has made reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to return to his or her home.

This new language should assist counties in determining a child’s eligibility for federal

Title IV-E benefits. I would encourage you to discuss this with the judges in your county to assure that they are aware of this important change.

REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT: Area Administrator
CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT: Mark S. Mitchell, Manager
Child Welfare Services Section
Bureau of Programs & Policies
1 West Wilson Street
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
(608) 266-2860

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