Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) and Federal Plans

Happy Family laying in the grass

The Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) is a federally required process occurring every five to ten years administered by the Children's Bureau (CB) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) designed to assure states meet the following requirements:

  • Follow federal child welfare standards
  • Conduct and provide to the CB a comprehensive assessment of state child welfare system functioning 
  • Identify areas that are working well and determine child welfare system challenges

Wisconsin participated in a CFSR in 2004, 2010 and the most recent review in 2018. The CFSR focuses on program outcomes for:

  • Child safety
  • Permanency
  • Child and family well-being

The review process also assesses state-level capacity to deliver:

  • Child welfare services
  • Program outcomes

For more information on the overall CFSR process, see the Children's Bureau Website. A CFSR fact sheet provides more information on the process. 

Child and Family Services Review (CFSR)

2018 Wisconsin Overview

Extensive outreach provided information about the CFSR process of the child welfare system in Wisconsin. This included providing information and requesting feedback from organizations and individuals involved in the child welfare system. A webinar series also shared information on the process.

DCF submitted a comprehensive Statewide Assessment to the Children's Bureau on February 16, 2018. The Children's Bureau conducted a federally directed review in three Wisconsin counties on April 16-20, 2018. During this week, 65 foster care and in-home cases in Barron, Brown, and Milwaukee counties were reviewed using the federally approved on-site review instrument (OSRI) to assess outcomes related to safety permanence, and well-being.

Wisconsin received the CFSR final report in the fall of 2018. The report detailed areas of Wisconsin's child welfare system that are working well and areas needing improvement. Findings identified key areas to focus on for the state Program Improvement Plan (PIP).

A Program Improvement Plan Advisory Group was launched in December 2018. The group included a wide range of individuals and organization involved in the child welfare system. This group considered CFSR findings, other state data and initiatives to address report findings and assisted DCF in developing a comprehensive, trauma-informed PIP.  After negotiating on the details of the PIP for 18 months, DCF received approval from the Children’s Bureau on May 5, 2020.

Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) Reports and Plans

Round 3 - 2018

Rounds 1 and 2

Prior federal CFSR reviews are available on the Administration for Children and Families Children's Bureau web page. There is the opportunity to compare results between states for all rounds. You will find the:

  • Statewide Assessments
  • CFSR Final Reports
  • Program Improvement Plans
  • Individual Key Findings Reports

Federal Plans

States are required to use the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process and the Program Improvement Plan (PIP) to build and report on following federally-required plans and reports:

  • The Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) 2020-2024 (the final five-year report) lays out five-year goals and objectives for the state.
  • Annual Progress and Services Report (APSR) is a required annual update (October 1 - September 30) on the state's approved five year Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP).
    • 2024
    • 2023
    • 2022
    • 2021
    • 2020
      • The Child and Family Services Report 2015-2019 is a five year report on the state's previous five year plan.
      • It is required to be submitted in place of an annual report.
    • 2019

For prior year reports or more information about any reports listed, please send an email to