September 17, 2020
Contact: Thomas McCarthy or Gina Paige, 608-422-7800 or

Contract for Milwaukee Child Welfare Case Management Services

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) issued a request for proposal (RFP) for case management services for the Milwaukee child welfare system. Consistent with state procurement requirements, DCF is conducting a competitive RFP procurement process for the next round of these contracts.

DCF administers the child welfare system in Milwaukee County through the DCF Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services (DMCPS). DMCPS contracts with external organizations to carry out some of its child welfare functions, including case management services for families involved in the child welfare system. The contracted agencies play a key role in advancing the department’s efforts to dramatically increase the proportion of children supported in their homes and communities.

Last Fall, the department held four listening sessions in Milwaukee to gather input and feedback about the case management and family support services that DMCPS provides through contracted partners. That information was used to restructure the contracting process and delivery of child welfare services in Milwaukee County. The changes made to the contract structure seek to increase the involvement of relatively small, community-based organizations – including minority owned organizations – in the delivery of child welfare-related services to families. As we heard at the listening sessions and in discussions with stakeholders in Milwaukee, small community-based organizations are often known and trusted by members of the community and are often composed of culturally competent and racially diverse staff with knowledge of and connections to the local families and communities they serve.

Key system changes incorporated in the Milwaukee case management RFP that create enhanced opportunities for relatively small, community-based organizations to play a role in providing child welfare services in Milwaukee County include:

  • The opportunity for organizations to form and submit a proposal as a consortium, which may be particularly helpful for small organizations with expertise in some, but not all, of the functions required in the RFP; 
  • Explicit guidance in the RFP that contractors are encouraged to sub-contract with small community-based organizations located within the Milwaukee communities where children and families are being served;
  • A lower minimum caseload size for contracted case management agencies of 250 children rather than 500 children, giving smaller organizations the opportunity to serve as a case management agency;
  • The availability of a start-up period with funding resources for agencies not currently under contract with DMCPS for these services; and
  • Establishment of a cost-based rather than case-based payment approach, which reduces the complexity and uncertainty of the revenue flow to contractors, which can be particularly helpful for small organizations. 

In addition, the department plans to issue a future procurement to contract for DMCPS Early Intervention Services to maintain children safely in their homes and prevent out-of-home removal. Delivery of Early Intervention Services may also be well-suited to relatively small, community-based organizations.

The Milwaukee case management RFP can be found on the Wisconsin eSupplier site and VendorNet. The deadline for submission of proposals is November 18, 2020 at 2 p.m. The department encourages all organizations with possible interest to review and consider responding to this RFP. An optional proposer’s conference will be held for interested proposers on October 13, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. via Zoom. This conference will be an opportunity to learn about the RFP as well as to interact with other agencies that may be potential partners through consortium or sub-contracting arrangements. Interested parties can join the event by phone or computer, using the information below:


Toll Free Phone Number: +12678310333
Meeting ID: 934 1958 0258
Passcode: 570205

Web Access

To join the Zoom meeting:

Further questions regarding this Request for Proposal should be directed to Beth Blanchar, DCF Purchasing Agent Senior at Please note that no phone calls, emails or other correspondence to other State staff regarding this procurement are permitted during the procurement process.