Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

 

 

Milwaukee County Child Protective Services (MCPS)

 

Requests for Child Protective Services (CPS) Background Checks

Wis. Stat. § 48.981(7) governs who can receive information from Child Protective Services investigation reports and is very strict about the release of such information. It is not available to the general public, but only to persons and agencies and for purposes specified in the statute. Even with a signed consent to release information form from the person who is the subject of the report, it may not be possible to legally obtain this information from the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF).

Some examples of persons and entities who can receive information from these investigation reports are:

  • Child placing agencies for purposes of investigating a home for foster care licensing
  • Adoption agencies investigating persons for purposes of placing a child for adoption
  • CPS agencies for the purpose of an open CPS assessment

In an effort to centralize and streamline our Child Protective Services (CPS) and child abuse and neglect (CAN) background check and records request process, the Wisconsin’s Department of Children and Families has changed the process for requesting this type of information. This centralized background check process only applies to CPS or CAN background information for the following types of requests:

  • Federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act for foster care or adoptive home licensing
  • Out of State Child Protective Services Investigation information
  • Out of State Child Welfare involvement
  • Child Protective Service or Child Welfare related employment in another state

Please note that all requests must be made via the following DCF forms:

English:   Request form 5065
Hmong:   Request form 5065h
Spanish:  Request form 5065s

To initiate the request process, please email the completed and signed form to CWBckgrdRequests@wisconsin.gov or fax the completed and signed form to (608) 226-5521

For email requests, responses provided in the originally submitted form will be returned to authorized requestors via this email. For faxed requests, responses provided in the originally submitted form will be returned to authorized requestors via this fax number.

Wis. Stat. § 19.31 – 19.39 govern open records.
Wis. Stat. § 48.981(7) governs who can receive information from Child Protective Services investigation reports.

Requests for Personal CPS Records

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families administers programs to assist Wisconsin's children and families, including W-2, child support, child care licensing, child care assistance, adoption search and assistance. DCF also administers child welfare programs, including the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services.

All persons may obtain information and access to DCF's public records, or obtain a copy of those records. Certain information and records are not subject to disclosure. Continuing requests are not honored. Wisconsin Statutes Sections 19.31 - 19.39 govern open records.

Wis. Stat. § 48.981(7) governs who can receive information from Child Protective Services investigation reports and is very strict about release of such information. It is not available to the general public, but only to persons and agencies and for purposes specified in the statute. Even with a signed consent to release information form from the person who is the subject of the report, it may not be possible to legally obtain this information from the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services.

Requesting Records

To request your child welfare records, please submit the Records Request form to the Milwaukee Child Protective Services, 635 North 26th St., Milwaukee, WI 53233, or email the signed form as a pdf file to DCFMilwaukeeChildWelfare@wisconsin.gov. Please provide your name, date of birth, children's names and dates of birth to help us identify the proper record. You may also make your request in person at the same address. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays. Please read "Receiving Records" below for information about processing time. You will need photo identification to pick up your records or arrange for them to be mailed.

Receiving Records

DCF gives open records requests high priority and provides requested records as soon as practicable and without delay. A reasonable time for response to any specific record requests depends on the nature of the request, the staff and other resources available to process the request, the extent of the request, and whether confidential material contained in the records must be redacted.

Fees

DCF may charge costs authorized by Wis. Stat. 19.35(3) for responding to public records requests. Aggregate fees below $20.00 may be waived. Prepayment may be required for estimated fees exceeding $50.00. Costs for reviewing and redacting records are not charged to requesters. Authorized fees include:

  • Location Costs. If the aggregate costs of locating responsive records exceed $50.00, the actual, necessary and direct costs of locating those records may be charged. Staff time charged for locating records will be billed at the hourly rate of salary and benefits for the lowest-paid employee capable of performing the task.
  • Copying Costs. DCF may charge $0.15 per page for photocopies provided in response to a public records request, or for records that must be scanned into an electronic format. DCF does not charge a per page cost for providing electronic copies of already-existing electronic documents, but may charge $1.00 per CD for providing copies of electronic documents.
  • Mailing or Shipping Costs. DCF may charge the actual cost of mailing or shipping copies of responsive records.

If you have questions about obtaining records, please call (414) 343-5500.