Putting Families First in the Redesign of Wisconsin’s Child Welfare System

The Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) is an opportunity for Wisconsin to transform our child welfare system by keeping more families together.

Focusing on Prevention

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Keeping families together and reducing the use of out-of-home care is critical for strengthening the underlying fabric of Wisconsin’s communities. DCF is making historic investments to support families who are involved with the child welfare system to reduce trauma, maintain safety, and ensure kids stay connected with families. This includes investing $12 million annually in evidence-based in-home prevention and family support services, $1.5 million over the biennium for the development of a new child welfare worker training program, and additional funding for the Nurse Family Partnership Home Visiting program in Milwaukee County.

Supporting Children & Families in Crisis

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Serving children in their communities is an agency-wide priority. To support this, DCF’s budget seeks $1.3 million for the development of a qualified residential treatment program facility in Milwaukee County to care for youth in out-of-home care who require special treatment and to keep them in-state. In addition, recruiting and retaining foster care and relative caregivers is critical to keeping kids connected to families. DCF’s biennial budget proposes increasing the monthly rate for foster care level one and increasing the kinship care rate to match this. It also increases the monthly age-based foster care rates for level two and above by 2.5% each year.

Implementing Family First with Fidelity

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Investing nearly $600,000 to meet the requirements of the federal Family First Prevention and Services Act supports counties to provide high-quality congregate care for Wisconsin’s children. This includes certifying qualified residential treatment programs, training providers to deliver quality services and supports to children and youth, and supporting centralized nursing services for congregate care providers across the state.

This information is also available as an Adobe pdf file for download, share, or print. The Division of Safety and Permanence (DSP) has created a presentation with additional information related to these proposals. Detailed information about DCF's budget request can be found using the department's summary of budget recommendations