April 7, 2020
Contact: Thomas McCarthy or Gina Paige, 608-422-7800 or dcfmedia@wisconsin.gov

Evers proposal targets key programs to support families

(MADISON) – Proposals from Governor Evers would provide immediate help for families and communities managing the COVID-19 health emergency. The funding and program changes provide necessary support to child care providers, child welfare workers, and essential workers responding to the health emergency.

During the COVID-19 crisis, continuity of child care and protective services for vulnerable families are critical. Whether through illness, unemployment, needing care for children due to school closure or work conditions, or loss of employment, many families are being impacted in ways that existing programs and funding cannot support. Without these changes, the department will not be able to expend dollars or change programs to reflect the current needs.

Governor Evers’ proposal would help support children, their families, our communities, and our essential workforce by:

  • allocating $100 million TANF for a temporary expansion of the Wisconsin Works (W-2), Wisconsin Shares Child Care, Emergency Assistance and Job Access Loan program;
  • launching a new child care grant program to fund hazard pay for early childhood educators, cover the cost of care for essential workforce families, and relief for closed child care centers.
  • establishing a congregate care facility grant program to address child welfare essential workforce shortages;
  • increasing support for programs for runaway, homeless, and older youth; and
  • creating a new program that would provide short-term financial assistance to eligible individuals to cover housing, transportation and other essential costs.

The legislative proposals from Governor Evers also include critical funds to support local communities and tribes, including $20M for emergency assistance and a 1% increase for county and municipal aids. These additional funds will be used to support locally administered programs, like child welfare services, cover extraordinary, otherwise unreimbursed operational costs related to protecting and improving public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department has produced a summary of the legislative proposals that impact the agency. To learn more about DCF, visit www.dcf.wisconsin.gov and follow @WisDCF on Twitter and Facebook. This press release is available via Adobe pdf file.