Milwaukee Child Protective Services (MCPS)
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act Appeal  Process

Appeal Process for a Substantiated Maltreatment Finding

Under the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and Wisconsin state law, a person who has been named as a maltreater in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect has the right to appeal. This appeal process starts with the First Appeal Review with Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services staff.

If you have been named as a maltreater and want to appeal the decision, follow these steps.

Step 1

After the initial decision to substantiate (find true) an accusation of child maltreatment in which you have been named as a maltreater, you will receive a Notification of Child Maltreatment Initial Determination Review Finding stating the outcome along with a CAPTA Appeal Form. You have 15 days from the date of the letter to respond. Return the form to the CAPTA Coordinator as directed. If you do not respond within the 15 days or if your response is late the agency will notify you within 5 days of the final determination. This notification will also include information on how to file an appeal with the Division of Hearings and Appeals (DHA). The Division of Hearings and Appeals has to hold the CAPTA Appeal Fair Hearing within 90 days of your request.

Step 2

If you do appeal within the 15 days of date of the letter a CAPTA reviewer will schedule a Substantiation Review Panel Interview at the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services. The agency must respond with a review date within 15 days of receiving your request. You will receive a letter with confirmed date and time of your interview. You have a right to send additional written information to the reviewer that you feel is relevant to your case. You may request a written statement of the allegation of maltreatment before the hearing. You may have an attorney present, but the attorney cannot participate. During the interview, you will be asked to discuss the incident that lead to the substantiation of maltreatment. The interview will be audio taped. The review may be rescheduled once but the rescheduled review must occur within 45 days of the agency receiving your appeals request. You will be notified within 15 days of the agency's final decision.

Step 3

If the substantiation is overturned or upheld, you will be notified by mail. The decision to overturn naming you as a maltreater and to overturn the substantiated findings will be entered into the case record. If the decision is upheld, you may appeal to the DHA. You have 10 days to appeal the decision to the DHA. An appeals form will be provided with the final determination letter.

Step 4

The DHA has 90 days from your request to hold a CAPTA Appeal Fair Hearing and 60 days after the hearing to render a decision.


Rehabilitation Review Process
Wisconsin also offers a Rehabilitation Review Process for those substantiated for maltreatment who would like to be considered for employment and licensing purposes in a Department of Children and Families regulated facility. To find out more about this process contact the office listed below.

Links to download Rehabilitation Review Application
DCF-F-419-E (English)
DCF-F-419-H (Hmong)
DCF-F-419-S (Spanish)

Department of Children and Families
Office of Legal Counsel
201 E. Washington Ave. G 200
P. O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53707-8916
(608) 422-7041

Contact the Milwaukee Child Protective Services