Children First

A young boy holds crayons in a classroom

Children First is a program created under Wis. Stat. s. 49.36 and is administered by the WI Department of Children and Families. It is a program designed to encourage and enable parents to contribute to the financial support of their children, and is currently offered in 16 Wisconsin counties in 2021 through 2022.

Parents owing support who are unemployed or underemployed may be court ordered to participate in the Children First program because they do not make regular payments. Children First agencies provide case management and employment services to parents who are court ordered to participate in the program. A parent in the Children First program successfully completes the requirements of the program by making on-time child support payments for 12 weeks, or by completing 16 weeks of participation.

Parents interested in information about Children First may contact their local child support agency.

Counties and agencies interested in providing Children First services may elect to do so by submitting a Children First Plan Proposal.