Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Disclaimer

Public Records Notice

Agency Overview.  The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) administers programs to assist Wisconsin's children and families, including Wisconsin Works (“W-2”), child support, child care licensing, child care assistance, and adoption search and assistance. DCF also administers child welfare programs, including child protective services in Milwaukee County through the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services, and certain juvenile justice programs.

State Public Offices.  The following DCF Positions constitute state public offices:

  • Secretary
  • Deputy Secretary
  • Assistant Deputy Secretary
  • Administrator of the Division of Early Care and Education
  • Administrator of the Division of Family and Economic Security
  • Administrator of the Division of Management Services
  • Administrator of the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services,
  • Administrator of the Division of Safety and Permanence
  • Director of the Office of Urban Development
  • Chief Legal Counsel
  • Legislative Liaison
  • Communications Director

Legal Custodian.  DCF’s Legal Custodian of Records is Assistant Deputy Secretary Brad Wassink.

Requesting Records

Access to or copies of DCF records may be requested by email, in writing, by telephone, or in person. Requesters are encouraged to include their name and contact information, state how they wish to receive requested records, and describe requested records as precisely as possible. Appropriate records release authorizations or other access authorization information must be provided for records that are confidential by law. If necessary to respond to a public records request, DCF staff may contact the requester for clarification of the request. To submit a public records request:

  • Email the request to dcfrecordsrequest@wisconsin.gov.
  • Send the request in writing to Brad Wassink, Records Custodian, 201 E. Washington Ave., Room G200, Madison, WI 53703.
  • Telephone (608) 422-7060.
  • Request the records in person at the Department of Children and Families, 201 East Washington Avenue, Room G200, Madison WI  53703. Records may be requested Monday-Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Receiving Records

DCF gives public records requests high priority and provides requested records as soon as practicable and without delay. A reasonable time for response to a specific public record request 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 responsive records must be redacted.

Fees

DCF may charge costs authorized by Wis. Stat. § 19.35(3) for responding to public records requests. Costs for reviewing and redacting records are not charged to requesters. Authorized fees include:

  • Location Costs.  The actual, necessary, and direct cost of locating responsive records may be charged to the requester if the aggregate location cost exceeds $50.00. DCF charges employee time spent locating requested records at the lowest possible hourly rate, which is $19.71 per hour. In rare instances, an employee with special skills may be necessary to conduct a search and a higher hourly rate for that employee may be charged. State Records Center records retrieval fees also may be charged based on State Records Center Rates, currently $3.05 per box (subject to change).
  • Copying or Reproduction Costs.  DCF may charge the actual, necessary, and direct costs of copying or reproducing records. Applicable fees depend on how the records are provided to the requester.
    • Hard Copies:  Any paper records provided by copying a paper record or printing a paper record are charged at $0.0135 per page (black and white) or $0.0632 per page (color). In rare instances, specialized skills, equipment, or technology may result in additional copy costs.

    • Electronic Copies:  Any electronic records provided by Email, PDF, DVD, flash drive, or other electronic format.

      • Paper to Digital: Includes scanning physical documents and saving them into a digital format for electronic distribution. Fee waived. In rare instances, specialized skills, equipment, or technology may result in additional copy costs.
      • Digital to Physical:  Includes copying records already in digital format onto a physical medium for distribution. Fee is the cost of physical medium used.
        • DVD (each): $0.13 (4.7 GB)
        • Flash drive (each): $5.02 (8 GB); $6.53 (16 GB); $10.08 (32 GB); $18.52 (64 GB); $32.21 (128 GB); $53.81 (500 GB); $60.14 (1 TB); $74.83 (2 TB)
      • Digital to Digital:  Includes copying records from one digital format to another for distribution (e.g., email). Fee waived. In rare instances, specialized skills, equipment, or technology may result in additional copy costs.
  • Mailing or Shipping Costs. DCF may charge the actual, necessary, and direct cost of mailing or shipping requested records to the requester.
  • Estimated Costs. If the total estimated cost for locating, copying, and mailing or shipping requested records exceeds $5.00, DCF may require prepayment. DCF may waive aggregate costs below $30.00.

 

Questions? For further information about obtaining or viewing copies of DCF records, please call (608) 422-7060 or email dcfrecordsrequest@wisconsin.gov.