Tailored Dispositional Orders: Promoting Positive Change Through Shared Responsibility

lots of people putting their hands together in a show of teamwork

The Wisconsin Tailored Dispositional Orders Project

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) in collaboration with the Children’s Court Improvement Program (CCIP) seek to promote the shared responsibility of parents, child welfare agencies, court, and legal partners in achieving timely reunification for children. The tailored dispositional orders project outcomes helped to identify strategies for creating shorter, tailored Conditions for Return (reunification), and better promote positive behavior changes needed to safely return children to their home of origin.

Tailored dispositional orders should not be a standardized list copied from one family to the next. Instead, they should: 

  • Address danger threats,
  • Help parents understand what behavior changes need to be made for children to return home safely,
  • Be prioritized to help parents and youth understand where to begin and end,
  • Does not contain legal or CPS language that is confusing,
  • Address specific needs of children and families,
  • And, if necessary, can be proven at TPR proceedings.

Goals of the Project

Goal 1: Tailor the Conditions for Return to meet the needs of individual parents.

Goal 2: Improve the timeliness of achieving permanency, namely reunification.

Goal 3: Improve the percentage of cases resulting in reunification.

Goal 4: Increase parent/family participation and engagement.

Next Action Steps 

We are seeking additional Innovation Zones, are you interested in learning more? DCF and CCIP are seeking additional local jurisdictions who would like to make their court orders more tailored, both for CPS and YJ involved families. 

Contact DCFDSPGeneralFosterCare@wisconsin.gov to express interest in becoming an Innovation Zone. 


Children’s Court Improvement Program Website 

Tailored Dispositional Orders Resources and Summary Report 

CCIP TDO Project Summary Report

Tailored Dispositional Orders Issue Brief

The Wisconsin Tailored Dispositional Orders Project Report