Kinship Care Worker Information

Kinship Care is a program to help support a child who lives outside of his or her home with the relative. The child may be livingtemporarily or for the long term with a relative such as:

  • An adult brother or sister
  • A first or second cousin
  • A nephew or niece
  • An uncle or aunt or a grandparent
  • Others by blood or marriage (See the administrative code for the definition of relative in Wisconsin Chapter DCF 58.03(18).)

Kinship care helps a family support a child in the home of a relative when the child has experienced abuse or neglect. With this support, placing a child in a foster home or another out-of-home care setting may be avoided. For children in the child welfare system who cannot continue living at home with his or her parents, Kinship Care may be another placement option.

The Kinship Care Coordinators Map provides current county and tribal contact information.

For families living in Milwaukee county, the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services (DMCPS) Kinship Care Program provides additional information.

Kinship Care Eligibility Requirements and Other Program Requirements

The eligibility and program requirements for Kinship Care are set forth in Chapter DCF 58.

There are three basic eligibility requirements for Kinship Care:

  1. The basic needs of the child can be better met with the relative than with the parent
  2. The placement is in the best interests of the child
  3. The child is currently in need of protection or services or might meet the requirements for services if the child were to remain with his or her parent(s).

Other requirements include:

  • A criminal background check on the relative caretaker and all adult household members
  • Cooperation with the agency by the relative caretaker
  • The relative caretaker must apply for other public assistance or benefits for which the child might be eligible
  • The relative caretaker must cooperate with referral of the parents to child support, unless the relative caretaker is granted a Good Cause exemption
  • Kinship living arrangements and eligibility must be reviewed every 12 months
  • Court Ordered Kinship Applicants (those with a CHIPS or JIPS order) must comply with the Levels of Care policy. The applicant must have a Foster Care license in order to receive Kinship Care payment during the process.

Kinship Care Funding

The funding for Kinship Care is provided to counties and tribes administering kinship care. Kinship Care funds are based on a one-year average of caseloads. At the end of each calendar year, the Department of Children and Families works with counties and tribes to reallocate funds. Counties and tribes may use other locally available funds for the Kinship Care Program.

Agencies are required to report to the Department if they need to create a waiting list for kinship care funding.

The amount of Kinship Care funding to be provided for a child is determined by state statute. For 2020 & 2021, the Kinship Care rate is $254.00, as stated in the DCF Policy Memo 2019-37i.

Kinship Care Data Entry Systems

The Kinship Care Tracking System (KCTS) is the system providing the essential elements to the administration and tracking of events related to Kinship Care for tribes.   A user manual is available to provide direction in the use of the tracking system.

The technology of the KCTS provides an automated solution to many of the tasks associated with reporting information required by the federal government. Web KCTS serves as the reporting system for Kinship Care tribes that do not yet have access to the Electronic Wisconsin Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (eWiSACWIS). County agencies use eWiSACWIS to track Kinship Care data. Tribal and county staff are required to record, by the 10th of each month into KCTS and eWiSACWIS, the data for the prior month.

Tribe users use Web KCTS to:

  • Improve the accuracy of their Tribe Kinship Care information.
  • View, edit, and report on their Tribe Kinship Care data.

County users can use Web KCTS to:

  • Reduce the need to edit Kinship Care information supplied by the Tribes.
  • Lessen the time and cost necessary to produce the federal reporting requirements.

Kinship Care Program Data

The Department uses statewide reporting systems to collect information on Kinship Care statistics and demographics on relative caregivers and children. For more information, you contact:

Kinship Care Specialist

Kinship Care Worker Resources

Wisconsin Statute 48.57(3p) discusses background checks and crimes which would prevent an applicant from becoming a Kinship Care Provider.

DCF Child Welfare Policy Memos is the list of current memos in a searchable table format.

The eWiSACWIS Knowledge Web provides technical and training resources.


Kinship Care Forms
Title Form Number Language Type
Kinship Care Payment Application DCF-F-CFS2023 English DOC
Kinship Care School Verification DCF-F-CFS2167 English DOC
Kinship Care Long Term Agreement DCF-F-CFS2190-E English DOC
Relative Caregiver Licensing Decision DCF-F-2479-E English DOC

Joint Court Ordered Kinship Care and Foster Care Application

DCF-F-2483-E English DOC
Kinship Care Review of Eligibility and Notice of Change of Circumstance DCF-F-5369-E English DOC
Kinship Care Eligibility Determination DCF-F-5370-E English DOC
Voluntary Kinship Care Parental Consent DCF-F-5371-E English DOC
Notification of Kinship Care Termination DCF-F-5372-E English DOC
Advance Notice of Termination of Kinship Care at Age 18 DCF-F-5373-E English DOC