DCF 56.01(1)(1)This chapter is promulgated under the authority of ss. 48.62, 48.64 (4), and 48.67, Stats., to establish licensing requirements for foster homes and foster parents directed at protecting the health and safety and promoting the welfare of children placed in the homes; to establish a fair hearing procedure for foster parents; to establish requirements for certification of a foster home with a level of care and requirements for assessment of a child's needs and strengths; and to establish criteria for making supplemental and exceptional payments to foster parents.
DCF 56.01(2) (2)A license to operate a foster home does not entitle the holder to placements of children who need foster care since placement decisions are based on a variety of factors, including the compatibility of what a specific child needs with what a particular foster parent can offer.
DCF 56.01 Note Note: Public licensing agencies are required to provide a foster home license to any applicant who meets the requirements under this chapter. An agency is not, however, required to place children with a licensee simply by virtue of the fact that they have a foster home to license.
DCF 56.01 History History: CR 00-020: cr. Register February 2002 No. 554, eff. 3-1-02; EmR0937: emerg. am. (1), eff. 1-1-10; CR 10-021: am. (1) Register September 2010 No. 657, eff. 10-1-10; EmR1050: emerg. am. (1), eff. 1-1-11; CR 10-148: am. (1) Register August 2011 No. 668, eff. 9-1-11.
DCF 56.02 DCF 56.02 Applicability.
DCF 56.02(1)(1)To whom the rules apply. This chapter applies to all persons proposing to provide or who are providing foster care for children in a foster home and to the department; county agencies under s. 46.215, 46.22, or 46.23, Stats.; and licensed private child-placing agencies.
DCF 56.02(2) (2)Exception to a requirement.
DCF 56.02(2)(a) (a) Licensing agency authority.
DCF 56.02(2)(a)1.1. A licensing agency may grant an exception to any requirement in this chapter if the licensing agency determines that the exception will not jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of the foster children, except that the licensing agency may not grant an exception to any of the following requirements: ss. DCF 56.04 (1), (2), (4) (a) 1., 2., 5., 5m., 8., or 9. or (b) 2., (6), (7) or (8), 56.05 (1) (a), (b) 1. b. or p., 2. b., d., or g., (c) 1. b., c., d., e., g., h., i. j., k., L., m., n., or 2., (d), (f), or (3) (a), 56.06, 56.07 (3) (a), (4) (b), (c), (e), (f), (g), or (h), (5) (a), (6), or (10) (a), 56.08 (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6) (c) 1., 2., 3. or 4. a., (7) (a) 3., (8) (a), or (c), (10), or (10m), 56.09 (1), (1g), (1m) (a) to (f), (2) (c), (2m), (3), (4) (c), (d) or (dm), (5), (9), (11), or (12) (a), (c) or (d), 56.12, 56.13 (1), (2), (3), (4) (a) 1., 2., or (b), (5) (a), (b) 1. or 2., (c), (6) (a), (b) 1. or 2., (c), (7), (8), 56.14 (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (6d), (6h), (6p), (6t), (7), (7e), (7m), (7s), (8) (a) or (b) 3., 56.15, 56.16, 56.18, 56.19, 56.21 (2), 56.22, or 56.23.
DCF 56.02(2)(a)2. 2. An applicant or licensee wanting an exception to a nonstatutory requirement in this chapter that the licensing agency has authority to grant shall submit a written request to the licensing agency stating the specific provision of this chapter for which an exception is requested, the justification for the requested exception and an explanation of any alternative provision planned to meet the intent of the requirement.
DCF 56.02(2)(a)3. 3. Any exception granted under subd. 2. or par. (b) shall be specifically cited on the license and shall be in effect only as long as the conditions under which the exception was granted remain but no longer than 2 years from the date on which the exception is granted or the date the license terminates, whichever occurs first, by which time the licensing agency shall determine if there is continued justification for the exception. In addition, the licensing agency may impose conditions to be met within a specified period of time by the licensee as an alternative to compliance with the requirement for which an exception has been granted.
DCF 56.02(2)(b) (b) Department exceptions panel.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)1.1. An applicant or licensee wanting an exception to a nonstatutory requirement in this chapter that the licensing agency may not grant may ask the department exceptions panel to grant the exception, with the approval of the licensing agency. A request for an exception under this paragraph shall be in writing on a form prescribed by the department.
DCF 56.02 Note Note: Copies of the Department's request form, “Application to DCF Exceptions Panel for Exception to Ch. DCF 56," can be obtained from the licensing agency or by visiting the Department's website at: https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/cwportal/fc/forms.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)2. 2. Any request under subd. 1. shall include all of the following information:
DCF 56.02(2)(b)2.a. a. The name of the applicant or licensee.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)2.b. b. The address of the applicant or licensee.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)2.c. c. The citation for the specific requirement for which an exception is requested.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)2.d. d. The rationale for the request.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)2.e. e. An explanation of any alternative provision planned to meet the intent of the requirement.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)2.f. f. The signature of the applicant or licensee and the date on which the applicant or licensee signed the request.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)3. 3. The applicant or licensee shall submit the completed request form to the licensing agency.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)4. 4. The licensing agency's authorized representative shall, in the space provided on the request form, indicate whether he or she supports or does not support the exception request or supports some alternative to the request, shall justify that position and shall sign and date the request form.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)5. 5. If the licensing agency approves the request or some alternative to the request, the licensing agency shall submit the completed request form to the department within 10 working days after the agency's receipt of the request form from the applicant or licensee. The licensing agency shall not submit to the department any request that it does not support.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)6.a.a. The department exceptions panel shall, in writing, indicate its approval or disapproval of the request within 10 working days after the department receives the request form from the licensing agency and has all the information required to make its decision.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)6.b. b. Notwithstanding subd. 6. a., the department exceptions panel shall, in writing, indicate its approval or disapproval of an application for certification to operate a Level 5 foster home under s. DCF 56.13 (7) (a) within 45 working days after the department receives the application from the licensing agency and has all the information required to make its decision.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)7.a.a. The department exceptions panel shall consist of at least 3 persons who collectively are knowledgeable about the foster care program, licensing practices and any special needs of children who may be served by the applicant for an exception.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)7.b. b. The chairperson of the panel shall be designated by the director of the department's bureau of permanence and out-of-home care.
DCF 56.02(2)(b)7.c. c. The panel chairperson shall designate the remaining members of the panel.
DCF 56.02(2)(c) (c) Non-safety-related waiver for relatives. The licensing agency or the department exceptions panel may grant a waiver to the following non-safety-related requirements for the relative of a child without an alternative provision to meet the intent of the requirement:
DCF 56.02(2)(c)1. 1. The licensing agency may grant a waiver to any requirement in s. DCF 56.04 (4) (a) 7., 56.05 (4), 56.07 (2), (4) (a) 1. or 4., (d), (j), (k), (L), (7), or (8), or 56.09 (4) (g) 1., (6), (7), (8), or (10) (b), (c), (d), (e), or (f).
DCF 56.02(2)(c)2. 2. The department exceptions panel may grant a waiver to any requirement in s. DCF 56.04 (4) (a) 2. or 56.07 (4) (b) or (6) (b). A request for a waiver shall follow the same procedure as a request for an exception under par. (b), except an explanation of an alternative under par. (b) 2. e. is not required.
DCF 56.02 History History: CR 00-020: cr. Register February 2002 No. 554, eff. 3-1-02; CR 03-033: am. (2) (a) 1. Register December 2003 No. 576, eff. 1-1-04; correction in (2) (a) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635; EmR0937: emerg. am. (2) (a) 1., (b) 5., 6., 7. b., cr. (2) (c), eff. 1-1-10; CR 10-021: am. (2) (a) 1., (b) 5., 6., 7. b., cr. (2) (c) Register September 2010 No. 657, eff. 10-1-10; EmR1050: emerg. am. (1), (2) (a) 1., (c) 1., eff. 1-1-11; CR 10-148: am. (1), (2) (a) 1., (c) 1., renum. (2) (b) 6. to be (2) (b) 6. a., cr. (2) (b) 6. b. Register August 2011 No. 668, eff. 9-1-11; EmR1633: emerg. am. (2) (a) 1., eff. 11-18-16; CR 16-051: am. (2) (a) 1. Register July 2017 No. 739, eff. 8-1-17.
DCF 56.03 DCF 56.03 Definitions. In this chapter:
DCF 56.03(1) (1)“Aftercare plan" means a plan for transition services for a child that identifies services that will be provided after the child's discharge from a foster home to ensure continuity in the management of the child's needs.
DCF 56.03(1d) (1d)“Age or developmentally appropriate activities” means activities that are generally accepted as suitable for children of a given chronological age or level of maturity or that are determined to be developmentally appropriate for a child based on the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities that are typical for children of a given age or age group or, in the case of a specific child, activities that are suitable for the child based on the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities of that child.
DCF 56.03(1g) (1g)“Algorithm" means a composite score based on items demonstrated to be relevant to decision making on a particular topic such as level of need or service provision.
DCF 56.03(1r) (1r)“Applicant" means a person who applies for a license to operate a foster home, for renewal of a license to operate a foster home or for modification of a license to operate a foster home.
DCF 56.03(2) (2)“Basement" has the meaning prescribed in s. SPS 320.07 (8), namely, that level below the first or ground floor level with its entire floor below exit discharge grade.
DCF 56.03(3) (3)“Basic maintenance payment" means a payment to reimburse a foster parent for the cost of a foster child's food, clothing, housing, basic transportation, and personal items, as follows:
DCF 56.03(3)(a) (a) For care and maintenance provided for a child of any age by a Level 1 foster home, $220.
DCF 56.03 History History: Beginning on January 1, 2018, the basic maintenance payment for a child of any age in a Level 1 foster home is $238.
DCF 56.03(3)(b) (b) For care and maintenance provided by a foster home that is certified to provide care at a level of care that is higher than Level 1 care, an age-related foster care payment established by s. 48.62 (4), Stats.
DCF 56.03(4) (4)“Case plan" means the service plan for the child and family, of which the permanency plan is a part.
DCF 56.03(5) (5)“Child" means a person who is under 21 years of age who is placed in a foster home under juvenile court jurisdiction, other court order, or an agreement.
DCF 56.03(6) (6)“Complete bathroom" means a bathroom with at least one toilet, one sink, and one tub or shower.
DCF 56.03(6m) (6m)“Counselor" means a person licensed or certified under ch. 457, Stats., and ch. MPSW 3, 6, 11, 12, or 17.
DCF 56.03(7) (7)“County agency" means a county department of social services under s. 46.215 or 46.22, Stats., or a county department of human services under s. 46.23, Stats.
DCF 56.03(8) (8)“Dangerous weapon" means any firearm, any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm, any electric device designed to immobilize or incapacitate persons by the use of electric current, any spray device designed to immobilize or incapacitate persons by the use of chemicals or other liquids or gases or any other device or instrument that is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
DCF 56.03(9) (9)“Department" means the Wisconsin department of children and families.
DCF 56.03(10) (10)“Department exceptions panel" or “exceptions panel" means the group authorized to grant exceptions under s. DCF 56.02 (2) to nonstatutory requirements of this chapter.
DCF 56.03(10m) (10m)“Emergency care" means care provided for a foster child on the basis of 24-hour availability, including crisis intervention services and emergency placements.
DCF 56.03(11) (11)“Exit" has the meaning prescribed in s. SPS 320.07 (29).
DCF 56.03(11m) (11m)“Family" means the birth parents, adoptive parents, relatives of the child, and other individuals who were permanently living with the child before the child's placement in out-of-home care.
DCF 56.03(11r) (11r)“Family interaction plan” means a plan developed by a placing agency to promote a child's interaction with members of the child's family and includes interaction by face-to-face contact; telephone calls; letters; emails; and attendance at routine activities, such as counseling sessions, medical appointments, school events, and faith-related activities.
DCF 56.03(11s) (11s)“Final substantiated finding" means all of the following:
DCF 56.03(11s)(a) (a) A final determination made after January 1, 2015, that a person has abused or neglected a child under s. 48.981 (3) (c) 5m., Stats., and s. DCF 40.04 if the final determination has not been reversed or modified on appeal.
DCF 56.03(11s)(b) (b) A determination made before January 1, 2015, that a person has abused or neglected a child under s. 48.981 (3) (c) 4., 2011 Stats., if the determination has not been reversed or modified on appeal.
DCF 56.03 Note Note: The date in a statutory citation means that was the last edition of the statutes in which that provision appears.
DCF 56.03(12) (12)“Foster care" means care and maintenance provided to a child in a foster home pursuant to a court order, voluntary placement agreement, or voluntary transition-to-independent-living agreement.
DCF 56.03(13) (13)“Foster child" means a child placed for care and maintenance in a foster home by the department, a county agency, a licensed private child-placing agency or a court by court order, voluntary placement agreement, or voluntary transition-to-independent-living agreement.
DCF 56.03(14) (14)“Foster home" means any facility operated by a person licensed under s. 48.62 (1), Stats.
DCF 56.03(15) (15)“Foster parent" means a person with primary responsibility for the care and supervision of one or more foster children placed in his or her foster home and in whose name the foster home is licensed under this chapter.
DCF 56.03(15m) (15m)“Group home" means a facility operated by a person licensed by the department to provide 24-hour care and maintenance for 5 to 8 children under s. 48.625, Stats.
DCF 56.03(16) (16)“Guardian" means the person or agency appointed by a court to make major decisions affecting a child which may include consent to marriage, to enlistment in the armed forces and to major surgery.
DCF 56.03(17) (17)“Hazardous machinery and equipment” means any machine or other equipment generally known to be dangerous to untrained or unskilled operators or to operators who for any other reason are physically or mentally unable to operate the equipment safely, including a motor vehicle, power lawn mower, tractor or other farm machinery or equipment, snow blower, chain saw, power-driven shop tool, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, and any other machinery or equipment determined by the licensing or supervising agency.
DCF 56.03(18) (18)“HealthCheck program" means a standardized preventive health check-up program for anyone under the age of 21 who has a valid Wisconsin medical assistance card.
DCF 56.03 Note Note: A HealthCheck includes head-to-toe physical examination, immunizations, laboratory tests, eye exam, growth and development check, hearing check, mouth exam, nutrition check, health information, special teen-age health education and teen pregnancy services.
DCF 56.03(19) (19)“Home-based private educational program" means a program of educational instruction provided to a child by the child's parent or guardian or by a person designated by the parent or guardian. An instruction program provided to more than one family unit does not constitute a home-based private educational program.
DCF 56.03(20) (20)“Household member" means any person living in a foster home, whether or not related to the licensee.
DCF 56.03(21) (21)“Legal custodian" means the person or agency to whom a court has transferred a child's legal custody and who thereby has the right and duty to protect, train and discipline the child and to provide for the child's care and needs. “Legal custody" has the meaning prescribed in s. 48.02 (12), Stats.
DCF 56.03(21g) (21g)“Level of care" means the intensity of services that is best able to meet the needs of a child who has been assessed with a corresponding level of need.
DCF 56.03(21r) (21r)“Level of need" means a rating of a child that is used to inform decision making on placement and service provision. The level of need is derived from an algorithm that is based on an assessment of a child's functioning.
DCF 56.03(22) (22)“Licensed private child-placing agency" means an agency licensed by the department under s. 48.60, Stats., and ch. DCF 54 to license a person to operate a foster home and to place children in foster homes and other out-of-home care facilities.
DCF 56.03(23) (23)“Licensee" means the foster parent or foster parents in whose name or names a foster home is licensed under this chapter.
DCF 56.03(24) (24)“Licensing agency" means the department, a county agency, or a licensed private child-placing agency that may issue a license to operate a foster home under this chapter.
DCF 56.03(25) (25)“Living area" means the rooms of the foster home used by household members for sleeping, preparing and eating meals, bathing, toileting and indoor leisure time activities.
DCF 56.03(26) (26)“Mechanical restraint" means any physical apparatus that interferes with the free movement of a person's limbs and body.
DCF 56.03(27) (27)“Motor vehicle" means a private automobile, motorcycle, van, bus or truck.
DCF 56.03(27m) (27m)“Nonclient resident" has the same meaning as in s. DCF 12.02 (18).
DCF 56.03(27r) (27r)“Normalcy” means the child's ability to easily engage in healthy and age or developmentally appropriate activities that promote his or her well-being, such as participation in social, scholastic, and enrichment activities.
DCF 56.03(28) (28)“Nurse practitioner" means a registered nurse licensed under ch. 441, Stats., who is currently certified as a nurse practitioner by a national certifying body that is recognized by the Wisconsin board of nursing.
DCF 56.03(29) (29)“Out-of-home care" means care in a foster home, a group home under s. 48.625, Stats., or a residential care center for children and youth under s. 48.60, Stats.
DCF 56.03(30) (30)“Permanency plan" means a plan required under s. 48.38 (2), Stats., that is designed to ensure that a child placed in out-of-home care is safely reunified with his or her family whenever appropriate, or that the child quickly attains a safe placement or home providing long-term stability.
DCF 56.03(31) (31)“Physical punishment" means inflicting any kind of physical pain or discomfort on a child by means that include but are not limited to hitting, slapping, spanking, punching, shaking, kicking, biting or washing out a child's mouth with soap.
DCF 56.03(32) (32)“Physician" means a person licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy under ch. 448, Stats.
DCF 56.03(33) (33)“Physician assistant" means a person certified under ch. 448, Stats., to perform patient services under the supervision and direction of a physician.
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Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.