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

           DCFS Memo Series 2002-15 /ACTION
            October 31, 2002

                DATA SURVEY



Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors/ Licensing Chiefs/Section Chiefs
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
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators


Susan N. Dreyfus

Document Summary

In order to meet federal data requirements for the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process, Wisconsin is obligated to develop and submit data from an alternate source for its Safety Outcome on Maltreatment Recurrence. Consistent with the data plan approved by the federal Children’s Bureau, this alternate recurrence data is to be generated from state CFS-40 data and additional case specific data supplied by county agencies. While not all counties will have cases selected for this process, this memo is intended to supply county agencies with information regarding the process for securing alternate safety data.



In December 2002, Wisconsin will receive our state’s Child Welfare Data Profile from the federal Children’s Bureau. The data profile is used to support the self-assessment portion of the upcoming Child and Family Services Review (CFSR). Prior to the on-site review, states are responsible for completing a self-assessment of its child welfare service system, analyzing program strengths and areas that may be in need of improvement. The data profile presents the results for the three most recent federal fiscal years of data submitted by the state to the federal government. Data sources include information reported to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) and to the Adoption and Foster Care Assistance Reporting System (AFCARS). All states are required to provide sufficient information for the Children’s Bureau to generate the state’s data profile.

Wisconsin submits data to NCANDS using results provided by counties in their
CFS-40 forms and to AFCARS using data generated from HSRS. As counties implement WiSACWIS, the respective NCANDS and AFCARS data is extracted from WiSACWIS information. However, child abuse and neglect data gathered from the CFS-40 forms is not child specific and, therefore, is not able to be used to calculate the federal maltreatment recurrence measure. As this is a requirement for the CFSR data profile, states that do not provide sufficient information within their NCANDS report to generate this measure must provide the data through an alternate process that has been approved by the Children’s Bureau.

Required State and County Actions

Wisconsin has submitted and received approval for an alternate data plan to generate the maltreatment recurrence measure through a survey approach. While the federal data profile contains data on all permanency outcomes for three federal fiscal years, Wisconsin is responsible for re-creating the maltreatment recurrence measure for a single one-year period. Based on the approved methodology, the recurrence rate for Wisconsin will be derived by creating a sample of cases where there was a substantiated report of maltreatment during the first six months of a calendar year. Then, additional case-specific data on the report(s) and case finding(s) on these sample cases must be generated for the six-month period before and after the six-month sample period is to be provided by the counties to calculate Wisconsin’s maltreatment recurrence rate.

Wisconsin will be using calendar year (CY) 2001 CFS-40s to generate a random sample of cases. The sample period will include those cases where a report was substantiated during the first half of CY 2001, i.e. January 1, 2001 through 
June 30, 2001. The total number of sample cases will be based on the total number of substantiated child maltreatment reports during CY 2001. Not all counties will have cases drawn for the sample group.

The sample group case list will be presented in an EXCEL file by county with the relevant case data, including Investigation ID, Worker ID, Report Date, Maltreatment Type, Maltreater Relationship and Child and Maltreater Demographic Information. Counties which have a case selected will be responsible for providing the case-specific data for child abuse and neglect reports, maltreatment type, maltreater relationship, child and maltreater demographics and case findings. Additional maltreatment data will be required for the six-month period prior to the start of the Sample Period, i.e. July 1, 2000 through December 31, 2000 and for the six-month period after the Sample Period, i.e. July 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001.

While this memo provides county with the necessary background information regarding this alternate safety data survey, additional written communication will be provided to counties where cases are included in the sample group. Counties with selected cases will also receive an EXCEL file to record the required case-specific data. The Division anticipates selecting the cases by October 28, 2002 and providing the respective case lists to county directors and OPEP data contacts by 
November 1, 2002. Counties will need to review their selected cases and gather the necessary follow-up information within the EXCEL worksheet provided by the Division no later than November 22, 2002. The subsequent results will be compiled by the Division, added to existing recurrence data generated from WiSACWIS for the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare and submitted to the federal Children’s Bureau as the state’s outcome for the Maltreatment Recurrence performance measure.


Area Administrator


John Tuohy
DCFS/OPEP Director
(608) 267-3832 

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