STATE OF WISCONSIN
Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services

            DCFS Memo Series 2004 - 05
             February 4, 2004

          Re:  COLLABORATION WITH LAW
                  ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
                  ON CHILD ABUSE AND
                  NEGLECT REPORTS

 

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
Licensing Chiefs/Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators

From:

Kitty Kocol
Administrator

 

BACKGROUND

On August 5, 1994, the Child Protective Service Investigation Standards (Investigation Standards) were issued. These standards describe the requirements for conducting investigations of alleged maltreatment and vary according to whether the maltreatment is alleged to have been committed by primary caregivers, secondary caregivers or non-caregivers. Each section of the standards also addresses collaboration between the county agency or the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare (BMCW) and other agencies.

Law enforcement agencies are the primary agencies with which the county agency collaborates in responding to reports of child maltreatment. Attached to this memo is a revision of the requirements in all sections in the Investigation Standards regarding collaboration with law enforcement. 
These revisions reflect statutory changes included in 2001 WI Act 16 that were effective on September 1, 2001. They also reflect consideration of the decision in Doe v. Heck (U.S. Court of Appeals, Case No. 01-3648).

The primary change to the Investigation Standards is a requirement that certain types of reports be referred to law enforcement by all county agencies and BMCW. This new standard becomes effective on receipt.

County agencies that already have an agreement in place with local law enforcement agencies that meets all of the requirements of the new standard need do nothing additional. Some county agencies may have an agreement that meets most, but not all of the requirements. In these cases, county agencies should meet with law enforcement agencies to develop an agreement on the remaining issues and revise the existing agreement accordingly.

REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT:

Area Administrator

CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT:

Mary Dibble
Child Protective Services Specialist
DHFS/DCFS/BPP
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
Phone: 608-267-2073
E-Mail: dibblms@dhfs.state.wi.us

Attachment  
Child Protective Services Investigation Standards (PDF 40 kb)

cc:

County CPS Supervisors


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