Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities


About Us

Children and Families

Mission and Goals

The Mission of the Department of Children and Families is to improve the economic and social well-being of Wisconsin’s children, youth and families. The Department is committed to protecting children and youth, strengthening families, and supporting communities.

Our five overarching goals are:

  1. Children are nurtured, safe and engaged
  2. Enhance prevention and early intervention efforts throughout Wisconsin
  3. Families will have access to quality early care and education
  4. Parents will secure and maintain meaningful jobs
  5. Fathers will be more engaged in the lives of their children


Organizational Structure

DCF Hierarchy

Secretary's Office

The Secretary’s Office is the general management for the Department and provides the principal support to the Secretary in formulating policy and providing advice.  The DCF Secretary’s Office contains the Executive Team, Communications Team, Office of Legal Counsel, Office of Inspector General, Tribal Affairs Liaison, Legislative Liaison, Urban Liaison, Strategic Initiatives Advisor, Rural Liaison and Economic Development Specialist.

Division of Early Care and Education (DECE)

The Division of Early Care and Education (DECE) houses Child Care Licensing and Certification, Milwaukee County Child Care Administration, the YoungStar Program, Wisconsin Shares, Operations and Planning, and Program Integrity. DECE aims to provide access to affordable, high-quality child care and early education experiences, to enhance our children's development, and to support their families in work and parenting roles.

Division of Management Services (DMS)

The Division of Management Services (DMS) oversees financial management, information systems and technology; human resource services and employment relations; affirmative action and civil rights compliance; purchasing and contract administration; facilities management; project management; and other administrative services for the Department.

Division of Family and Economic Security (DFES)

The Division of Family and Economic Security (DFES) houses the Wisconsin Works, Child Support, Refugee Services, and the Transform Milwaukee and Transitional Jobs programs.

It is dedicated to helping people receive a temporary hand-up, not a hand-out. Through its programs, people who are down on their luck can achieve the well-being that is earned through work, and begin the transition from reliance on government for basic needs to self-sufficiency.

Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services (DMCPS)

The Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services (DMCPS) works with families to ensure the safety and well-being of children.

In partnership with many other community based resources, DMCPS provides services to families in crisis that help keep children safely in the home. When it is necessary, DMCPS looks to foster and adoptive families to provide appropriate temporary and permanent homes for children who cannot live with their parents.

Division of Safety and Permanence (DSP)

The Division of Safety and Permanence houses child welfare foster care and adoption assistance, the Bureau of Youth Services, the Juvenile Justice Youth Aids Program and domestic abuse prevention.

It focuses on protecting the most vulnerable; especially those who have been victims of child abuse or neglect, domestic abuse, or sex trafficking. It also looks to the future, with a keen eye placed upon improving long-term outcomes for foster youth and young people in the juvenile justice system that are at risk of moving into the adult correctional system without appropriate intervention.


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