Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

 

 

Confirming Safe Environment Ongoing Services Worker Information

Confirming a Safe Environment (CSE) when children are placed in out-of-home care are requirements for Child Protective Services (CPS), Child Welfare, and Youth Justice workers. Counties may also assign a designee to perform the CSE.

CSE applies to all children and youth in Out of Home placement. It includes all children for which the agency maintains placement, court ordered care, and responsibility. Workers should refer to the Ongoing Services Standards, section “Confirming a Safe Environment when Children are placed in Out-of-Home Care”.

Requirements for Unlicensed Homes

  • Before placing a child in an unlicensed home the case worker or designee must now conduct:

  • The case worker or designee must talk to the provider if a home visit cannot occur before placement. A home visit must occur within 24 hours of placement.

  • During the home visit, the case worker will assess and check the safety of the placement setting, and conduct a home visit within 24 hours. Another home visit must occur within 5 working days of the placement.
 

Requirements when Respite and Pre-Placement Visits Have Been Approved in Unlicensed Homes

  • According to Wisconsin law, background checks and a home visit must occur before respite or pre-placement visits occur in unlicensed homes.

  • The case worker/designee must assess and check the safety of the placement environment. A home visit must occur within 3 working days following placement of the child.

Requirements for Licensed Foster Homes

  • A caseworker or designee must talk to the foster parent(s) at the time of the child’s placement. They must assess and check the safety of the placement during the discussion.

  • Within 24 hours, a caseworker or designee must conduct a background check on the people in the home 17 and older. A reverse sex offender check must also occur.

  • Within 3 business days the case worker or designee must conduct an initial home visit.

  • Within 7 business days after the first home visit another home visit occurs.

Placement Danger Threats

  • Placement Danger Threats are defined in the Wisconsin Ongoing Services Standards. These threats describe and define safety concerns in an unlicensed or foster care placement. The 17 threats are severe and show the unlicensed or foster care placement is unsafe.

  • When the case worker or designee identifies a placement danger threat they must:
    • Address the threat if it can be immediately mitigated
    • Avoid using the home for placement
    • Remove the child if already residing in that home.

Requirements for Group Homes and Residential Care Centers

  • Before placement, the caseworker or designee must check the safety of the group homes or residential care center by:
    • Ensuring the facility has the capacity to meet the child’s needs based on the child’s CANS score
    • Making a determination with the facility representative that the behaviors of other children
    • Youth, or adults in the placement setting do not present a concern for the child’s safety
    • Address any other needs to ensure the child is safe in the placement setting.

  • The caseworker or designee must check and confirm the safety of the child(ren) at least every six months.
 

For more information refer to Child Welfare Policy Memo 2013–03 Confirming a Safe Environment when Children are Placed in Out of Home Care