Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

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 described 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. Where the cost of locating requested records exceeds $50.00, the actual, necessary, and direct cost of locating the records is charged to the requester. For employee time spent locating requested records, DCF charges at the hourly rate of salary and benefits for the lowest-paid employee capable of locating the requested records (not to exceed $30 per hour)..
  • Copying Costs. DCF charges $0.15 per page for each photocopied page of records provided in response to a public records request. DCF charges $0.07 per page for converting paper records to an electronic format.  DCF charges $0.14 per CD or DVD.
  • Mailing or Shipping Costs. DCF charges the actual cost of shipping records to the requester.
  • Estimated Costs. When the total estimated cost for locating, redacting, photocopying and shipping exceeds $5.00, DCF may require pre-payment. The Department 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.