Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities




Domestic Abuse Information for Workers

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) contracts Domestic Abuse Services with local agencies in every county of the state to provide a variety of support services to victims/survivors and their children who are living with domestic abuse. Domestic abuse programs collaborate with partner agencies in their local communities to aid survivors of violence, protect children and assist families.


In Wisconsin, guardians ad litem (GALs) are attorneys who are charged with representing the best interest of children when child custody and placement is disputed. When domestic abuse has occurred, GALs have a critical role to play in protecting the safety and well-being of domestic violence victims and their children.

The Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse

The Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse (Council) advises the Department of Children and Families and the legislature on domestic abuse funding and policy issues. The Council also serves as a sounding board and resource for citizens of the State on domestic abuse issues.

The Council consists of thirteen members appointed for three-year terms. Of those 13 members, nine are nominated by the Governor, with advice and consent of the Senate. The other members are designated, for appointment by the Governor, by the Speaker of the Assembly, and the minority leader in each house of the legislature. Persons appointed have a recognized interest in and knowledge of domestic abuse issues.

The Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse, in collaboration with End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, has created a six-year plan with recommendations for funding domestic abuse services. Access the plan on the Wisconsin DV Plan website.