Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Connections Count for Wisconsin Families

Connections Count is a new voluntary program. It is for families with young children (ages 0-5 years) who live in high need communities or neighborhoods.

The purpose is to:

  • Engage children and their families with the different types of support within their community
  • Help families get benefits and services that meet their needs
  • Connect adults to leadership opportunities in their neighborhoods

The program's goal is to help families with young children build social connections in their community. To reach this goal, a trusted member of the community in a local organization will work with families. This person is called a Community Connector.

The Community Connector is not a case manager. The Community Connector is someone who understands local resources. They have the skills to educate and guide families to neighborhood supports. The Community Connector will:

  • Work with families in their homes or trusted community space
  • Identify needs and set goals with families
  • Connect families with:
    • Resources
    • Services
    • Other supports

Current Programs

  • Manitowoc - Lakeshore CAP, Inc.
  • Milwaukee - Children's Hospital and Health System, Inc.

Connections Count Program Information

The program was developed as part of the Fostering Futures initiative. This is a public-private collaboration promoting trauma informed principles to improve outcomes for Wisconsin children and families.

Connections Count is funded using Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. This aligns with TANF's goal to assist needy families with children, so children can be cared for within their own homes.

In 2016, the Department of Children and Families awarded grants to two agencies to pilot Connections Count in their communities. They will operate local Connections Count programs during the period November 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018. The contracts may be renewed as many as four times for additional 1-year periods.