Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities



Wisconsin Child Welfare Policies and Standards

The policies, standards, and Indian child welfare information provides a resource of the state rules and regulations guiding the State of Wisconsin child welfare system.


These standards specify the requirements necessary to perform Child Protective Services practice in the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act (WICWA)


Check back often for updates
  • WICWA Notification Efforts
  • Placement Preference
  • Qualified Expert Witness
  • Voluntary Proceedings


The Policy Memos

The data table contains only those policy memos currently in effect. Sign up for an email notification when there is an update to the Policy Memos table. You will find all of the child welfare policy memos in this table. The policy memo key indicates the following:

  • Info are the informational policy memos indicated by an "i" after the memo number.
  • Licensing indicates those memos applicable to child welfare facility licensing policies. The memo number ends with an "L".
  • Blank represents the numbered memo series.

How to find a Memo:

The child welfare policy memos data table defaults to an alpha sort of the Policy Subject column. You can sort by any of the other columns by clicking on the column heading. The first click on the policy memo Number or Issue Date provides an oldest to newest sort, the second click with result in the most recent policy memos ordered first. A small blue arrow will appear to the right of the column heading indicating the sort. The Search text box will find text, numbers or dates.


Policy Subject Number Issue Date Key
CY 2016 Youth Aids Emergency Funds 2017-05i 1/31/2017 Info
Reporting Serious Incidents 2017-04L 1/30/2017 Licensing
High Cost Pool Fund for Tribal Court Placements & Tribal Subsidized Guardianship 2017-03 1/19/2017  
Admission Criteria and Placing Agency Agreement for Residential Treatment Facility for Females who have Experienced Sex Trafficking 2017-02i 1/9/2017 Info
Summary of Input Gathered about the Youth Justice System 2017-01i 1/4/2017 Info
Statewide Caseworker Contact Results for FFY 2016 2016-44i 12/28/2016 Info
Legislation Updates 2016-43L 12/28/2016  
1095-B Tax Form for Tax Year 2016 2016-42i 12/20/2016 Info
Non-Profit Volunteer Host Families 2016-40i 12/5/2016 Info
FY 2016 Reimbursement for High-Cost Indian Juvenile Placements: Eligibility and Application for Funding 2016-39i 12/2/2016 Info
Customary Adoption Eligibility for Adoption Assistance 2016-38i 11/28/2016 Info
Implementation of the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) 2016-37i 11/22/2016 Info
Emergency Rules for Successor Guardianship 2016-36i 11/17/2016 Info
Emergency Rules for the Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard and the SAFE Home Study 2016-35i 11/18/2016 Info
SAFE Home Study Assessment Policy 2016-34 11/8/2016  
2015 WI Act 373:  Change of Placement 2016-33 11/2/2016  
Early Intervention Calendar Year 2017-18: Eligibility, Allocations, and Application for Funding 2016-31i 10/28/2016 Info
Residential Care Center for Female Youth who have Experienced Sex Trafficking 2016-30i 10/27/2016 Info
Federal Fiscal Year 2018 Child and Family Services Review Webinar Series 2016-29i 9/30/2016 Info
Uniform Foster Care Rate Reimbursement Procedure for Children in Out-of-Home Care Placed in Foster Homes Licensed by Child Placing Agencies 2016-28 9/27/2016  
Social Services Block Grant - 2017 Eligibility Requirements 2016-27 9/27/2016  
2015 WI Act 368: Missing from Out-of-Home Care and Child Photograph Requirements 2016-26 9/23/2016  
Child Welfare Workforce Survey on Working with Children with Disabilities 2016-25i 9/23/2016 Info
Advisory Notification of Calendar Year 2017 Child Welfare Allocations 2016-24i 9/21/2016 Info
Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard 2016-23L 9/16/2016 Licensing
Disaster Plan 2016-22L 9/9/2016 Licensing
Independent Living Program Restructure Phase II Notification 2016-21i 9/6/2016 Info
2017 Maximus Daily Rates for Group Homes, Residential Care Centers, and Child Placing Agencies 2016-20i 9/1/2016 Info
Domestic and International Annual Data Request 2016-19L 8/23/2016 Licensing
Reimbursement for SAFE Home Study Assessment Training Registration Costs  2016-18i 7/15/2016 Info
IA Detail Dashboard 2016-17i 7/12/2016 Info
Pupil Records Bill 2016-16i 6/8/2016 Info
2015 Provider Performance Dashboard 2016-15i 6/6/2016 Info
2015 Initial Assessment Case Records Review Report and Child Welfare Continuous Quality Improvement System Update 2016-14i 5/14/2016 Info
Community Intervention Program SFY 17: Application for Funding 2016-13i 5/19/2016 Info
Basic Maintenance Foster Care Rates & Kinship Care Rates for CY 2016 & 2017 2016-10i 4/18/2016 Info
Juvenile Court Intake Worker Training Sessions 2016-09i 3/24/2016 Info
Implementation of Ch. DCF 12 Administrative Code: Caregiver Background Checks 2016-08 7/15/2016  
Child Welfare-related State Legislation 2016-07i 4/9/2016 Info
Revised Ch. DCF 37 Administrative Code: Information to be Provided to Out-of-Home 2016-07 7/7/2016  
Imaging Child Welfare Case Record Information 2016-06i 3/3/2016 Info
Successor Guardian 2016-06 6/22/2016  
Present Danger Assessment and Protective Plans 2016-05 6/2/2016  
Standardized Assessment for the Home Study Process in Foster Care Licensure and Adoption Approval 2016-04 5/2/2016  
Recent and Upcoming State Law Changes in Response to Federal Legislation 2016-03i 1/21/2016 Info
2015 WI Act 128: Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard 2016-03 5/2/2016  
Provider Cost and Service Report Requirements 2016-02L 4/27/2016 Licensing
2015 WI Act 128: Other Planned Permanent Living Arrangements (OPPLA), and Independent Living Services 2016-02 4/1/2016  
Protective Planning Documentation in eWiSACWIS, Protective Planning with Indian Children, and Updates to Safety Intervention Standards 2016-01 1/22/2016  
Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts 2015-24i 12/30/2015 Info
DCF and DOC CIP Transfer 2015-23i 12/23/2015 Info
The Certification of Foster Care Medicaid 2015-21i 11/25/2015 Info
Youth Aids Transfer Effective January 1, 2016 2015-17i 10/30/2015 Info
Update to Wisconsin Child Welfare Continuous Quality Improvement System 2015-15i 9/4/2015 Info
Family Find and Engagement Initiative 2015-06i 5/1/2015 Info
Changes to Definition of Relative for Notification and Placement Consideration 2015-06 11/13/2015  
Out-of-Home Care Extension to Age 21 Changes 2015-05L 9/23/2015 Licensing
Child Protective Services Access and Initial Assessments Standards Revision: Unborn Child Abuse Allegations 2015-05 11/9/2015  
Tribal Good Faith Negotiation Policy 2015-03i 2/9/2015 Info
Independent Living Program Restructure 2015-03 9/14/2015  
Documentation Requirements for Foster Care Providers in eWiSACWIS 2015-02 6/10/2015  
Civil Rights Compliance 2015-01L 4/15/2015 Licensing
Reverse Address Sex Offender Checks 2015-01 5/1/2015  
Voluntary Placement in Shelter Care Facilities 2014-19i 12/9/2014 Info
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Provision for Former Foster Care Youth Enrolled in BadgerCare Plus Clarification 2014-18i 12/1/2014 Info
Voluntary Placements in Shelter Care Facilities 2014-15L 12/9/2014 Licensing
Provider Information Exchange (PIE) Monthly Roster and Background checks Update-Residential Care Center  2014-14L 9/25/2014 Licensing
Provider Information Exchange (PIE) Monthly Roster and Background checks Update -  Group Homes 2014-13L 9/25/2014 Licensing
Provider Information Exchange (PIE) Monthly Roster and Background checks Update-Child Placing Agencies 2014-12L 9/25/2014 Licensing
Provider Information Exchange (PIE) Monthly Roster and Background Checks Update-Shelter Care 2014-11L 9/25/2014 Licensing
Act 334:  Out-of-Home Care Extension to Age 21 2014-10L 8/21/2014 Licensing
Submitting a Child Welfare Non-Compliance Statement and Correction Plan 2014-09L 7/25/2014 Licensing
Provider Information Exchange (PIE) Requirements:  Continuation Applications 2014-07L 5/8/2014 Licensing
Appeal Procedures for Substantiated Determinations of Child Abuse or Neglect 2014-07 12/19/2014  
Extension of Out-of-Home Care Policy 2014-06 12/1/2014  
Documentation of Eligible Children Referred to Birth-to-Three in Accordance with the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) 2014-04 9/4/2014  
Community Advisory Committee 2014-03L 3/13/2014 Licensing
Emergency Rules for the Extension of Out-of-Home Care 2014-03 8/6/2014  
Continuation Application Due Dates-Child Placing Agencies 2014-02L 2/13/2014 Licensing
Assessing Risk and Use of Restrictive Measures for Runaways at Residential Care Centers 2014-01L 1/24/2014 Licensing
Geographic Placement Resource System (GPRS)  2013-13i 9/27/2013 Info
Wisconsin Indian Child Welfare Act (WICWA): Qualified Expert Witness 2013-05 10/16/2013  
Serving Immigrant and Refugee Families:  Statewide Survey Results 2013-04i 2/11/2013 Info
Identity Theft and Credit Preservation Requirement for Youth in Out-of-Home Care (OHC) 2013-04 6/5/2013  
Confirming a Safe Environment when Children are Placed in Out-of-Home Care 2013-03 3/14/2013  
Audit Report Requirements 2013-01L 3/25/2013 Licensing
National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Outcomes Survey at age 19 2013-01 1/11/2013  
Important Influenza Information 2012-19L 12/26/2012 Licensing
Policy and Procedure Checklists for Private Child Placing Agencies, Group Homes, and Residential Care Centers for Children and Youth 2012-17L 10/8/2012 Licensing
Caregiver Background Check Requirements for Agency Staff and PIE Requirements-Residential Care Centers 2012-16L 10/2/2012 Licensing
Caregiver Background Check Requirements for Agency Staff and PIE Requirements-Group Homes 2012-15L 10/2/2012 Licensing
Caregiver Background Check Requirements for Agency Staff and PIE Requirements-Child Placing Agencies 2012-14L 10/2/2012 Licensing
Caregiver Background Check Requirements for Agency Staff and PIE Requirements-Shelters 2012-13L 10/2/2012 Licensing
Provider Information Exchange (PIE) Requirements: Rate Regulation, Caregiver Background Checks and Performance Based Contracting 2012-12L 8/21/2012 Licensing
Use of Electronic Records 2012-11L 8/9/2012 Licensing
Uniform Foster Care Rate Setting 2012-11 11/13/2012  
Caregiver Background Check Requirements for Agency Staff 2012-10L 8/1/2012 Licensing
Joint Court Ordered Kinship and Foster Care Application 2012-10 11/5/2012  
Needs Determination for Group Homes 2012-09L 8/1/2012 Licensing
CANS Certification Process 2012-09i 7/3/2012 Info
Notifying Tribal Indian Child Welfare Agencies of Child Protective Services Reports 2012-08 10/3/2012  
Allowable Cost Manual 2012-07L 7/19/2012 Licensing
School Activities for Children in Out-of-Home Care 2012-03 3/9/2012  
Resident's Rights 2012-02L 2/15/2012 Licensing
Caseworker Face-to-Face Contact Requirements for Children and Juveniles in Out-of-Home Placement 2012-02 2/15/2012  
New Rules for Private Child Placing Agencies, Group Homes, and Residential Care Centers for Children and Youth 2012-01L 1/5/2012 Licensing
Applying Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Assessment (CANS) to Group Homes and Residential Care Center 2012-01 1/20/2012  
New DCF 56 and Contact Requirements 2011-11L 12/13/2011 Licensing
Levels of Care Foster Care Licensing Initiative 2011-10 9/19/2011  
Use of Out-of-Home Care for Mental Health Crisis Stabilization 2011-07i 6/8/2011 Info
IV-E Pass-Through Funding for Foster Parent Training 2011-06 4/26/2011  
Adding of Caregiver Background Check Documentation into eWiSACWIS 2011-05 4/12/2011  
Act 335 Changes to Child Welfare Provider Reserve Limits 2011-04 3/1/2011 Licensing
Independent Living Transition to Discharge Plan 2010-14 12/8/2010  
Children / Youth in Out-of-Home Care and Education 2010-11i 10/29/2010 Info
National Youth in Transition Database Outcomes Survey 2010-11 10/14/2010  
Contents of a Child Welfare Case Records and Imaging 2010-10 10/6/2010  
Funding Changes for Foster Care and Kinship Care (SSBG and TANF Allocations 2010-09 9/17/2010  
Child Welfare Public Disclosure-Children Placed in Serious or Critical Condition Due to Alleged Child Maltreatment 2010-07 5/25/2010  
Levels of Care Initiative - Applicability to Tribes 2010-05 4/7/2010  
Sales and Use Tax Exemption Expanded to Include Prepared Food for Child Welfare Facilities 2010-04L 5/4/2010 Licensing
Levels of Care Foster Care Licensing Initiative 2010-03i 3/11/2010 Info
Child Welfare Public Disclosure-Reports and Notification 2010-03 1/29/2010  
Child Welfare Public Disclosure-2009 Wisconsin Act 78 2010-01 1/12/2010  
New Independent Living Data Collection and Reporting Requirements 2009-08 9/14/2009  
Prohibited Practices in the Application of Emergency Safety Interventions with Children and Adolescents in Community Based Programs and Facilities 2009-05 3/13/2009  
BadgerCare Plus Co-Payments Charged to Children in Out of Home Care 2009-01i 2/17/2009 Info
Definition of Missing from Out-of-Home Care and Documentation Requirements 2008-12 6/30/2008  
Guidelines for Implementation of Act 161 Agreements (Out of Home Placements of Indian Children by Tribal Courts) 2008-11 6/24/2008  
Modifications to Juvenile Court Forms to Clarify Applicability of the Federal Indian Child Welfare Act 2008-06 10/15/2008  
Resource Family Disaster Plan-Template for Imaging  2008-04i 4/16/2008 Info
Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act Questions and Answers 2008-03i 10/20/2008 Info
Trial Reunification for Children in Out of Home Care 2008-03 8/5/2008  
Safe & Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-239) 2008-02i 1/14/2008 Info
HFS 43 Training for CPS Caseworkers and Supervisors-Local Agency Plans 2008-02 1/22/2008  
Foster Parent Training and Federal Title IV-E Reimbursement 2008-01 1/11/2008  
Requirement to Notify Agency when a Client Moves to a New County 2007-20 1/17/2008  
AFSA Exception to Filing a TPR Petition 2007-18 12/27/2007  
Adam Walsh Child Protection Act Requirements for Child Abuse or Neglect Registry Checks and Fingerprinting 2007-16 12/20/2007  
Application of First Time Adoption Preparation to International Adoptions under Wis. Stats. s. 48.839 2007-10 9/4/2007  
Child Welfare Disaster Planning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Template Documents for Use in Disaster Planning 2007-05i 9/25/2007 Info
eWiSACWIS:  Confidentiality and Access to the System   2007-03 2/26/2007  
Locating Non-Custodial Parents, Alleged Fathers and Other Relatives 2007-01 2/1/2007  
Adoption Assistance Program And Children Subject To The Indian Child Welfare Act 2006-19 11/7/2006  
2005 Act 293-Changes Impacting Inquiries Concerning Declarations of Paternal Interest 2006-17 9/26/2006  
Support Services for Foster Families 2006-14 7/17/2006  
Voluntary Placement Agreements 2006-13 7/17/2006  
Summary of Service and Support Needs of Foster Parents 2006-12i 6/27/2006 Info
Family Interaction for Child Protective Services Cases When a Child is in Out-of-Home Care 2006-08 3/30/2006  
Placement of Siblings in Out of Home Care and Adoption 2006-01i 1/17/2006 Info
A Guide for Permanency Plan Administrative Review Panel Members 2005-13i 12/7/2005 Info
Title IV-E Reimbursement for Legal Services 2005-13 10/27/2005  
Statewide Changes to Section 48.977 Guardianships 2005-11 10/27/2005  
Policy Guidance On Serving Children In The Children's Long Term Support Waivers And Child Welfare Services 2005-09 10/19/2005  
Use of Vail Beds for Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities 2005-05 6/20/2005  
Original Disposition Report to the Court 2004-21 12/13/2004  
Chapter HFS 39: Relinquishing Custody of a Newborn Child 2004-09i 8/2/2004 Info
Long Term Kinship Care and Data Entry 2003-04 2/12/2003  
High School Completion for Youth in Out-of-Home Care (OHC) Placements 2002-18i 9/24/2002 Info
Foster Parent Pre-service Training and Federal Title IV-E Reimbursement 2002-12 9/18/2002  
Sharing of Abuse and Neglect Records with Licensing Agencies 2002-07 4/22/2002  
Adoption and Safe Families Act and the Federal Final Rule 2001-15 12/28/2001  
Notification of Foster Home and Treatment Foster Home Licensure and Placement 2001-11 7/2/2001  
Match Reporting for IV-E Training 2001-10 6/15/2001  
Notice of Petition for Termination of Parental Rights 1999-06 3/9/1999  
Kinship Care: Eligibility Issues 1999-01 1/15/1999  
Long Term Kinship Care 1998-15 10/26/1998  
Act 104 and Act 114 Related to TPR and Adoption 1998-05 7/1/1998  
Data Collection for Kinship Care Program 1998-03 5/26/1998  
Kinship Care; Appeal of Assessment Decisions 1997-11 11/11/1997  
Federal Adoption and Foster Care Reporting Requirements 1997-07 10/1/1997  
Multiethnic Placement Act & Amendments Under The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 1997-06 8/20/1997  
Recent Federal Legislation Affecting Adoption and Foster Care Programs 1997-05 6/8/1997  
HIV Testing of Foster and Adopted Children 1996-03 8/13/1996