Child and Family Services Review Requirements

The Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) is a federally required assessment of state child welfare system.  All states submit five year plans – the Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP) which establishes a five year plan for state child welfare system efforts. States submit annual updates to the CFSP as the Annual Progress and Services Report (APSR), provides information on annual activities. Both the CFSP and APSR are responsive to strengths and challenges identified in a state’s CFSR.  The report and plan are available for public and stakeholder feedback. Wisconsin had a CFSR in 2010 and previously in 2003. All of the documents for both reviews are available on the Children's Bureau website.

Federal Child and Family Services Review Requirements

Every 5 to10 years the state must conduct a comprehensive statewide assessment as part of the CFSR to include information on:

State performance on national outcomes measures that track statewide progress on efforts to improve child safety, permanency and well-being.

Safety Outcome 1

Meets safety-related national standard for Maltreatment in Foster Care

Safety Outcome 2

Meets safety-related national standard for Re-report of Maltreatment

Permanency Outcome 3

Meets national standard for permanency of Entry Cohort, Permanency in 12 Months

Permanency Outcome 4

Meets national standard for permanency of Re-entry to Foster Care

Permanency Outcome 5

Meets national standard for permanency of Children in Foster Care for more than Two Years Achieve Permanency in 23 Months

Permanency Outcome 6

Meets national standard for permanency Measure how Stable a Foster Child Placement is

The CFSR reviews performance on 7 systemic factors

The purpose of the state systemic factor analysis is to provide information on how well a state child welfare system functions in several key areas. The systemic factors include the following:

Management Information System

  • Measures how well a state’s information technology system functions
  • Determines if key child welfare data and information are gathered and used effectively

Case Record Review


  • how well a state performs on developing written case plans with children and their families
  • how often plans are reviewed
  • the timeliness and effectiveness of permanency hearings
  • effectiveness of provisions related to the Termination of Parental Rights*
  • how effective foster and adoptive parents rights are upheld in court proceedings

Quality Assurance System


  • What is the effectiveness of a state system to measure quality assurance and improvement in the child welfare system.



  • how effectively a state initially trains and provides ongoing training for new and existing staff as well as foster parents.

Agency Responsiveness


  • how well a state coordinates with partner agencies and provide access to other federal programs so that the needs of child welfare families are addressed.

Service Array


  • If a state is able to assure that a range of services are available to all families across the state
  • Individualized services are also available to meet family needs.

Foster and Adoptive Recruitment and Training


  • If the state licensing, recruitment and retention standards are applied equally
  • Spells out requirements for Criminal Background Checks
  • If the state is able to recruit foster and adoptive homes that are racially and ethnically diverse
  • How effectively a state provides resources for placements of children placed in other state’s care

Case Review Data

  • Is part of Wisconsin’s Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) system
  • Consists of multiple components. 
  • These components include qualitative and quantitative data, improvement projects, and experimental solutions.