Foster Care Worker Resources

Everyday child welfare caseworkers and agencies make a difference in the life of a foster child and their family. While children are placed in foster care, there are many resources that are available to help foster parents, agencies, and caseworkers navigate the ins and outs of foster care.

Foster Care Coordinators

Foster Care Coordinators license foster homes in Wisconsin and can answer many questions related to foster care.  To learn more about becoming a licensed foster parent contact the county foster care coordinator.

To learn more about foster care in Milwaukee County, go to Foster Care in Milwaukee County for more information.

Child Placing Agencies also license foster homes in Wisconsin.   To learn more about foster care licensure by a private Child Placing Agency, go to the Child Placing Agency directory for more information.

Additionally, tribes license foster parents in Wisconsin.  To learn about tribal foster care, contact the tribal foster care coordinator for the tribe.

State Statutes, Administrative Rules, and Standards

There are a number of different statutes, administrative rules, and standards that govern the child welfare system, and specifically foster care, in Wisconsin

State Statutes

Administrative Rules

Wisconsin Standards

The Ongoing Services Standards provides a framework for the ongoing case process. The standards focus on safety, permanence, and well-being for children and their families served under Wisconsin Statute Chapter 48 and Chapter 938.

Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act

Indian tribes are sovereign nations. They can create their own laws and regulations for certain programs or services. Some tribes use state licensing requirements, others have their own standards and policies. Agencies and caseworkers working with a tribe should contact the tribal agency to learn about the tribe’s policies.

Foster Care Forms and Publications

Foster Care Forms & Publications for Workers is a comprehensive list of forms and publications for use by Wisconsin Foster Care Workers.

Foster Care Handbooks

The State of Wisconsin Foster Parent Handbook is intended to give basic information about foster care in Wisconsin. It is for newly-licensed foster parents and serves as a refresher for experienced foster parents. In it, foster parents will find the following:

  • An overview of the foster care program
  • Information about what is expected of foster parents
  • A discussion about the care of children in foster care
  • An explanation of the critical need to work cooperatively with birth families
  • An emphasis on the importance of foster family self-care
  • Additional tools and resource lists for foster parents

The Handbook for Youth in Foster Care must be given to all foster youth age 14 and older. The Handbook describes:

  • An overview of the child welfare system and foster care
  • Foster youth rights
  • Foster youth advocate
  • Foster care expectations
  • Checklist for youth turning 18
  • Transitioning to independence

Foster Youth Resources

Foster Club leads the efforts of young people in and from foster care to:

  • Become connected,educated, and inspired
  • Be represented
  • Realize their personal potential
  • Contribute to a better life for their peers

Teen Central is a safe, free and anonymous site offering help when youth need it most. If a youth has a problem, question, difficult situation or just want to vent, they can write their “story”. There will be an answer waiting for them within 24-hours.

Youth Communication equips and empowers educators and youth workers with real teen-written stories. There is a literacy-rich training model to engage struggling youth and build their social and emotional learning skills.

Foster Parent Associations

The Wisconsin Foster and Adoptive Parent Association (WFAPA) is a peer and volunteer-based organization. They support and advocate for foster and adoptive parents. The association offers

  • Training
  • Support programs
  • Helps to create and support different legislative measures

The National Foster Parent Association is a non-profit, volunteer organization established in 1972 as a result of the concerns of several independent groups.  They felt the country needed a national organization to meet the needs of foster families in the United States.  The National Foster Parent Association aims to support foster parents in achieving for the children and youth in their care:

  • Safety
  • Permanence
  • Well-being

The International Foster Care Organization (IFCO) is a global, non-profit networking organization serving to promote and support family-based foster care across the world. IFCO is the only international network of foster parents.

General Foster Care Resources

Department of Children and Families (DCF) Resources

Learn more about Adoption in Wisconsin, including adopting through foster care and Public Adoption.

Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) Information is the evaluation of a state's child welfare system by the Federal government. The CFSR focuses on program outcomes for child safety, permanency, and child and family well-being.

Child Welfare Reports and Data provides Wisconsin child welfare monthly data dashboards, annual and special reports.

Child Welfare Policy and Program Information Webinars provides links to informative and educational webinars related to placement policies and programs.

The Geographic Placement Resource System (GPRS) helps caseworkers and agencies find foster care placements for children throughout Wisconsin. It also maps all out-of-home care providers and foster children throughout Wisconsin, as well as the United States if Wisconsin is responsible for those providers and children.

eWiSACWIS Knowledge Web presents information relevant to the use of Wisconsin’s Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (eWiSACWIS).

Learn about Supporting Students in Out of Home Care, through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), by promoting educational stability and positive outcomes.

The Wisconsin Family Connections Center (WiFCC) offers a variety of resources for agencies, caseworkers, and foster parents:

  • Statewide events and trainings
  • Learning materials
  • Posters and brochures
  • Support services

Independent Living resources and services can assist youth and their families as youth prepare to exit foster care.

Kinship Care is a program designed to help support a child who lives outside of their own home, either temporarily or for the long term, with a relative (such as an adult brother or sister, a first cousin, a nephew or niece, an uncle or aunt, or a grandparent, among others).

The UW-Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership (MCWP) is a professional development program that is part of the Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System (WCWPDS). MCWP provides a full array of training and professional development services to foster, adoptive, and relative families throughout Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System (WCWPDS) allows foster parents to browse and register for trainings, conferences, and online training modules.  It also stores transcript information about the trainings foster parents have completed.

Additional Foster Care Resources

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is a division of the Department of Health & Human Services. ACF promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities with partnerships, funding, guidance, training and technical assistance.

American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) pursues excellence in health and human services by supporting state and local agencies, informing policymakers, and working to drive innovative, integrated, and efficient solutions in policy and practice.

The Birth to 3 Program is a federally-mandated Early Intervention program that supports families of children with developmental delays or disabilities under the age of three.

Casey Family Programs focuses on safely reducing the need for foster care for children and families across America.

Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) leads and engages a network of public and private agencies and partners to advance policies, best practices, and collaborative strategies that result in better outcomes for children, youth and families that are vulnerable.

State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI)

The National Resource Center for Foster Care and Permanency Planning is a training, technical assistance, and information services organization dedicated to help strengthen the capacity of State, local, Tribal and other publicly administered or supported child welfare agencies.