Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Child Welfare License Application Instructions

Group Home, Residential Care Center, Shelter Care, Child Placing Agency

 

Providing care to Wisconsin’s children is a valuable service to families and the community. In an effort to assist those persons interested in starting a licensed program, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) has provided the following guidance for each facility type:

Group Home

  • Review Wisconsin Administrative Code DCF 57 to ensure that your facility will be able to meet the requirements.
  • Before an application may be requested by an individual interested in opening a Group Home, a Needs Determination Application must be submitted to and approved by the Child Welfare Program Specialist. The Program Specialist will issue a letter regarding the Department’s decision.
  • Once a letter indicating approval of the Needs Determination has been received, an application may be requested.

Residential Care Centers for Children and Youth

  • Review Wisconsin Administrative Code DCF 52 to ensure that your facility will be able to meet the requirements.
  • Before an application may be requested by an individual interested in opening a Residential Care Center, a Needs Determination Application must be submitted to the Child Welfare Program Specialist.
  • Once the Needs Determination Application has been submitted, an initial application packet may be requested.

Shelter Care

Child Welfare Licensing
141 NW Barstow Street
Room 104
Waukesha, WI 53188

Child Placing Agency

Child Welfare Licensing
141 NW Barstow Street
Room 104
Waukesha, WI 53188

Review and complete the application

  • Once your application has been received, carefully review all materials.
  • Complete the application and gather ALL supporting documents.
  • Submit all materials to the department as directed in the application packet.
  • Once submitted, the application will be reviewed by the Child Welfare Licensing staff and you will be contacted about the next steps in the process.
  • Any questions regarding this process may be sent toDCFCWLR@wisconsin.gov

License Continuation

Child Welfare Licenses are non-expiring but need to be continued every 2 years.  Facilities are notified by email when continuation materials are available on the Provider Information Exchange (PIE).  Materials must be completed and submitted to PIE 30 days prior to continuation.