Jeanine B. Settlement Information

A diverse group of children, arms around each other with brightly-colored t-shirts

Jeanine B. Settlement Agreement

Introduction

The Department of Children and Families (DCF), in collaboration with Children’s Rights, are seeking court approval to end the Jeanine B. legal settlement agreement governing DCF’s child welfare work in Milwaukee County. This action recognizes the significant work completed to date and the state’s ongoing commitment to improving child welfare services provided to Milwaukee County’s children and families. While exiting the settlement agreement marks a significant milestone, it will not change the state’s commitment to continue to provide the best possible child welfare services to the community in a transparent and collaborative fashion.

Interested in helping us share this news? Please use our Jeanine B. one-page flyer.

Impact

In short, there will not be changes to DCF’s operations as a result of this development. DCF’s providers will continue to serve the children and families of Milwaukee County. The state will continue to publicly report its data, Milwaukee County child welfare will remain in state control, and the Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership Council will continue to provide community feedback and guidance. DCF will continue to implement transformative changes consistent with the federal Family First Act. That includes an increased focus on providing families services to successfully keep children with their families.

Background

The Jeanine B. lawsuit dates to 1993. As a result, the Legislature transferred responsibility for child welfare services in Milwaukee County to the state in 1998. In 2002, the parties (the state defendants and a class of children represented by Children’s Rights) agreed to enter into a settlement agreement to resolve the Jeanine B. lawsuit. This settlement agreement was approved by the court in 2002 and has facilitated substantial improvement of the child welfare services provided to Milwaukee County’s children and families. The Jeanine B. settlement agreement established 19 performance measures relating to the permanence, safety, and well-being of children in care for the state to meet before being released. All but one of those measures, relating to placement stability, have been met. The federal Family First legislation, which is changing how child welfare services are delivered, becomes effective in Wisconsin later this year. As the state shifts its focus to keeping families safely together whenever possible, the state defendants and Children’s Rights have agreed that substantial compliance with the placement stability benchmark warrants termination of the settlement agreement.

Next Steps

The state defendants and Children’s Rights will file a Joint Motion to Terminate Settlement Agreement and Consent Decree on Grounds of Substantial Compliance (Joint Motion) and other related documents. A judge will be assigned and the court will conduct a series of proceedings to determine whether to conclude the settlement agreement. This process could take several months and DCF will continue to share regular updates about these proceedings.

 

To receive updates on the settlement status, subscribe to an email listserv using the form below.

Email address:
Your name (optional):
 

Historic Settlement Agreement Information (including Performance Measures)

Settlement Agreement Information

Beginning January 1, 1998, the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) assumed responsibility for administering child welfare services in Milwaukee County, which had previously been under the Milwaukee County Human Services Department. DHFS (now the Department of Children an Families, DCF) assumed responsibility for child welfare services as required by legislation enacted in the 1995 and 1997 legislative sessions in response to a lawsuit filed against the State and  Milwaukee County. The suit alleged that the state and the county were in violation of federal law and that the administration of child welfare services in Milwaukee County  was so poor that it failed to keep children safe.  

Children's Rights Lawsuit

Settlement Agreement

Progress Report and Performance Measures, January - June 2020

Progress Report and Performance Measures, 2019 Annual

Progress Report and Performance Measures, January - June 2019

Progress Report and Performance Measures, 2018 Annual

Progress Report and Performance Measures, January - June 2018

Progress Report and Performance Measures, 2017 Annual

Progress Report and Performance Measures, January - June 2017

Progress Report and Performance Measures, 2016 Annual

Progress Report and Performance Measures, January - June 2016

Progress Report and Performance Measures, 2015 Annual

Progress Report and Performance Measures, January - June 2015

Progress Report and Performance Measures, 2014 Annual

Progress Report and Performance Measures, January - June 2014

Progress Report and Performance Measures, 2013 Annual

Progress Report and Performance Measures, January - June 2013

If you are in need of earlier Progress Report and Performance Measures periods, please submit a written request specifing Name; Agency; Address; Phone Number; Fax Number (if available); which period(s) you are requesting and the information will be forwarded to you.

Your request can be email to: MCPS Archived Settlement Information or Faxed to 414-220-7062.

Contact the Milwaukee Child Protective Services