48.619 History History: 2001 a. 69; 2009 a. 28; 2013 a. 334.
48.62 48.62 Licensing of foster homes; rates.
48.62(1) (1) Any person who receives, with or without transfer of legal custody, 4 or fewer children or, if necessary to enable a sibling group to remain together, 6 or fewer children or, if the department promulgates rules permitting a different number of children, the number of children permitted under those rules, to provide care and maintenance for those children shall obtain a license to operate a foster home from the department, a county department or a licensed child welfare agency as provided in s. 48.75.
48.62(2) (2) A relative, a guardian of a child, or a person delegated care and custody of a child under s. 48.979 who provides care and maintenance for the child is not required to obtain the license specified in this section. The department, county department, or licensed child welfare agency as provided in s. 48.75 may issue a license to operate a foster home to a relative who has no duty of support under s. 49.90 (1) (a) and who requests a license to operate a foster home for a specific child who is either placed by court order or who is the subject of a voluntary placement agreement under s. 48.63. The department, a county department, or a licensed child welfare agency may, at the request of a guardian appointed under s. 48.977 or 48.978, ch. 54, or ch. 880, 2003 stats., license the guardian's home as a foster home for the guardian's minor ward who is living in the home and who is placed in the home by court order. Relatives with no duty of support and guardians appointed under s. 48.977 or 48.978, ch. 54, or ch. 880, 2003 stats., who are licensed to operate foster homes are subject to the department's licensing rules.
48.62(3) (3) When the department, a county department, or a child welfare agency issues a license to operate a foster home, the department, county department, or child welfare agency shall notify the clerk of the school district in which the foster home is located that a foster home has been licensed in the school district.
48.62(4) (4) Monthly payments in foster care shall be provided according to the rates specified in this subsection. Beginning on January 1, 2014, the rates are $226 for care and maintenance provided for a child of any age by a foster home that is certified to provide level one care, as defined in the rules promulgated under sub. (8) (a) and, 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 one care, $375 for a child under 5 years of age; $410 for a child 5 to 11 years of age; $466 for a child 12 to 14 years of age; and $487 for a child 15 years of age or over. Beginning on January 1, 2015, the rates are $232 for care and maintenance provided for a child of any age by a foster home that is certified to provide level one care, as defined in the rules promulgated under sub. (8) (a) and, 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 one care, $384 for a child under 5 years of age; $420 for a child 5 to 11 years of age; $478 for a child 12 to 14 years of age; and $499 for a child 15 years of age or over. In addition to these grants for basic maintenance, the department, county department, or licensed child welfare agency shall make supplemental payments for foster care to a foster home that is receiving an age-related rate under this subsection that are commensurate with the level of care that the foster home is certified to provide and the needs of the child who is placed in the foster home according to the rules promulgated by the department under sub. (8) (c).
48.62(6) (6) The department or a county department may recover an overpayment made under sub. (4) from a foster parent who continues to receive those payments by reducing the amount of the foster parent's monthly payment. The department may by rule specify other methods for recovering those overpayments. A county department that recovers an overpayment under this subsection due to the efforts of its officers and employees may retain a portion of the amount recovered, as provided by the department by rule.
48.62(7) (7) In each federal fiscal year, the department shall ensure that there are no more than 2,200 children in foster care placements for more than 24 months, consistent with the best interests of each child. Services provided in connection with this requirement shall comply with the requirements under P.L. 96-272.
48.62(8) (8) The department shall promulgate rules relating to foster homes as follows:
48.62(8)(a) (a) Rules providing levels of care that a foster home is licensed to provide. Those levels of care shall be based on the level of knowledge, skill, training, experience, and other qualifications that are required of the licensee, the level of responsibilities that are expected of the licensee, the needs of the children who are placed with the licensee, and any other requirements relating to the ability of the licensee to provide for those needs that the department may promulgate by rule.
48.62(8)(b) (b) Rules establishing a standardized assessment tool to assess the needs of a child placed or to be placed outside the home, to determine the level of care that is required to meet those needs, and to place the child in a placement that meets those needs. A foster home that is certified to provide a given level of care under par. (a) may provide foster care for any child whose needs are assessed to be at or below the level of care that the foster home is certified to provide. A foster home that is certified to provide a given level of care under par. (a) may not provide foster care for any child whose needs are assessed to be above that level of care unless the department, county department, or child welfare agency issuing the foster home license determines that support or services sufficient to meet the child's needs are in place and grants an exception to that prohibition.
48.62(8)(c) (c) Rules providing monthly rates of reimbursement for foster care that are commensurate with the level of care that the foster home is licensed to provide and the needs of the child who is placed in the foster home. Those rates shall include rates for supplemental payments for special needs, exceptional circumstances, and initial clothing allowances for children placed in a foster home that is receiving an age-related monthly rate under sub. (4). In promulgating the rules under this paragraph, the department shall provide a mechanism for equalizing the amount of reimbursement received by a foster parent prior to the promulgation of those rules and the amount of reimbursement received by a foster parent under those rules so as to reduce the amount of any reimbursement that may be lost as a result of the implementation of those rules.
48.62(8)(d) (d) Rules providing a monthly retainer fee for a foster home that agrees to maintain openings for emergency placements.
48.62(9) (9) As soon as the department is ready to implement the rules promulgated under sub. (8), the secretary shall send a notice to the legislative reference bureau for publication in the Wisconsin Administrative Register that states the date on which the provisions of 2009 Wisconsin Act 28, relating to foster care levels of care will become effective.
48.62 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. DCF 56, Wis. adm. code.
48.62 Annotation A foster child in a family owned foster home under a one-year dispositional order is a resident of the household for insurance purposes. A. G. v. Travelers Insurance Co. 112 Wis. 2d 18, 331 N.W.2d 643 (Ct. App. 1983).
48.62 Annotation Foster homes owned, operated, or contracted for by the department or a county department are immune from local zoning ordinances. Foster homes owned, operated, or contracted for by licensed child welfare agencies are not immune. All family operated foster homes are subject to local zoning. Municipal foster home licensing ordinances are unenforceable. 63 Atty. Gen. 34.
48.62 Annotation State-licensed foster homes are immune from local zoning ordinances restricting the number of unrelated occupants of single family dwellings. 66 Atty. Gen. 342.
48.623 48.623 Subsidized guardianships.
48.623(1) (1) Eligibility. A county department or, as provided in sub. (3) (a), the department shall provide monthly subsidized guardianship payments in the amount specified in sub. (3) (b) to a guardian of a child under s. 48.977 (2) or under a substantially similar tribal law if the county department or department determines that the conditions specified in pars. (a) to (d) have been met. A county department or, as provided in sub. (3) (a), the department shall also provide those payments for the care of a sibling of such a child, regardless of whether the sibling meets the conditions specified in par. (a), if the county department or department and the guardian agree on the appropriateness of placing the sibling in the home of the guardian. A guardian of a child under s. 48.977 (2) or under a substantially similar tribal law is eligible for monthly subsidized guardianship payments under this subsection if the county department or the department, whichever will be providing those payments, determines that all of the following apply:
48.623(1)(a) (a) The child meets all of the following conditions:
48.623(1)(a)1. 1. The child has been removed from his or her home under a voluntary agreement under s. 48.63 or under a substantially similar tribal law or under a court order containing a finding that continued placement of the child in his or her home would be contrary to the welfare of the child.
48.623(1)(a)2. 2. The child has been residing in the home of the guardian for not less than 6 consecutive months.
48.623(1)(a)3. 3. The child's situation precludes return of the child to his or her home or adoption as appropriate permanency options for the child.
48.623(1)(a)4. 4. The child demonstrates a strong attachment to the guardian.
48.623(1)(a)5. 5. If the child is 14 years of age or over, the child has been consulted with regarding the guardianship arrangement.
48.623(1)(b) (b) The guardian meets all of the following conditions:
48.623(1)(b)1. 1. The guardian is a relative of the child or is a person who has a significant emotional relationship with the child and who, prior to the child's placement in out-of-home care, had an existing relationship with the child that is similar to a familial relationship.
48.623(1)(b)2. 2. The guardian has a strong commitment to caring permanently for the child.
48.623(1)(b)3. 3. The guardian is licensed as the child's foster parent and the guardian and all adults residing in the guardian's home meet the requirements specified in s. 48.685.
48.623(1)(b)5. 5. Prior to being named as the guardian of the child, the guardian entered into a subsidized guardianship agreement under sub. (2) with the county department or department.
48.623(1)(c) (c) An order under s. 48.345, 48.357, 48.363, 48.365, 938.345, 938.357, 938.363, or 938.365 placing the child, or continuing the placement of the child, outside of the child's home has been terminated, or any proceeding in which the child has been adjudged to be in need of protection or services specified in s. 48.977 (2) (a) has been dismissed, as provided in s. 48.977 (3r).
48.623(1)(d) (d) If the county department or department knows or has reason to know that the child is an Indian child, the Indian child's parent, Indian custodian, and tribe have been provided with notice of the child's placement in the home of the guardian under s. 48.977 (4) (c) 2m. and the court has found under s. 48.977 (4) (g) 4. that the home of the guardian is in compliance with the order of placement preference under s. 48.028 (7) (b) or, if applicable, s. 48.028 (7) (c), unless the court found good cause, as described in s. 48.028 (7) (e), for departing from that order.
48.623(2) (2)Subsidized guardianship agreement. Before a county department or the department may approve the provision of subsidized guardianship payments under sub. (1) to a proposed guardian, the county department or department shall negotiate and enter into a written, binding subsidized guardianship agreement with the proposed guardian and provide the proposed guardian with a copy of the agreement. A subsidized guardianship agreement shall specify all of the following:
48.623(2)(a) (a) The amount of the monthly subsidized guardianship payments that will be provided under the agreement and the manner in which those payments may be adjusted periodically, in consultation with the guardian, based on the circumstances of the guardian and the needs of the child.
48.623(2)(b) (b) Any additional services and assistance for which the child or guardian will be eligible under the agreement, a description of those additional services and that additional assistance, and the procedures by which the guardian may apply for those additional services and that additional assistance.
48.623(2)(c) (c) That the county department or department will pay the total cost of the nonrecurring expenses that are associated with obtaining guardianship of the child, not to exceed $2,000.
48.623(2)(d) (d) That the agreement shall remain in effect without regard to the state of residence of the guardian.
48.623(2)(e) (e) That, in determining eligibility for adoption assistance under s. 48.975 and 42 USC 673 for the care of the child, the placement of the child in the home of the guardian and any payments made under sub. (1) shall be considered never to have been made.
48.623(3) (3)Payments.
48.623(3)(a)(a) Except as provided in this paragraph, the county department shall provide the monthly payments under sub. (1) or (6). The county department shall provide those payments from moneys received under s. 48.48 (8p) or 48.569 (1) (d). In a county having a population of 750,000 or more or in the circumstances specified in s. 48.43 (7) (a) or 48.485 (1), the department shall provide the monthly payments under sub. (1) or (6). The department shall provide those payments from the appropriations under s. 20.437 (1) (dd) and (pd).
48.623(3)(b) (b) The county department or, as provided in par. (a), the department shall determine the initial amount of a monthly payment under sub. (1) or (6) for the care of a child based on the circumstances of the guardian and the needs of the child. That amount may not exceed the amount received under s. 48.62 (4) by the guardian of the child for the month immediately preceding the month in which the guardianship order was granted. A guardian or an interim caretaker who receives a monthly payment under sub. (1) or (6) for the care of a child is not eligible to receive a payment under s. 48.57 (3m) or (3n) or 48.62 (4) for the care of that child.
48.623(3)(c)1.1. If a person who is receiving monthly subsidized guardianship payments under an agreement under sub. (2) believes that there has been a substantial change in circumstances, as defined by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (7) (a), he or she may request that the agreement be amended to increase the amount of those payments. If a request is received under this subdivision, the county department or department shall determine whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances and whether there has been a substantiated report of abuse or neglect of the child by the person receiving those payments. If there has been a substantial change in circumstances and if there has been no substantiated report of abuse or neglect of the child by that person, the county department or department shall offer to increase the amount of those payments based on criteria established by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (7) (b). If an increased monthly subsidized guardianship payment is agreed to by the person receiving those payments, the county department or department shall amend the agreement in writing to specify the increased amount of those payments.
48.623(3)(c)2. 2. Annually, a county department or the department shall review an agreement that has been amended under subd. 1. to determine whether the substantial change in circumstances that was the basis for amending the agreement continues to exist. If that substantial change in circumstances continues to exist, the agreement, as amended, shall remain in effect. If that substantial change in circumstances no longer exists, the county department or department shall offer to decrease the amount of the monthly subsidized guardianship payments provided under sub. (1) based on criteria established by the department under sub. (7) (c). If the decreased amount of those payments is agreed to by the person receiving those payments, the county department or department shall amend the agreement in writing to specify the decreased amount of those payments. If the decreased amount of those payments is not agreed to by the person receiving those payments, that person may appeal the decision of the county department or department regarding the decrease under sub. (5).
48.623(3)(c)3. 3. A county department or the department may propose to a person receiving monthly subsidized guardianship payments that the agreement under sub. (2) (b) be amended to adjust the amount of those payments. If an adjustment in the amount of those payments is agreed to by the person receiving those payments, the agreement shall be amended in writing to specify the adjusted amount of those payments.
48.623(3)(c)4. 4. An agreement under sub. (2) may be amended more than once under subd. 1. or 3.
48.623(3)(d) (d) The department or a county department may recover an overpayment made under sub. (1) or (6) from a guardian or interim caretaker who continues to receive those payments by reducing the amount of the person's monthly payment. The department may by rule specify other methods for recovering those overpayments. A county department that recovers an overpayment under this paragraph due to the efforts of its officers and employees may retain a portion of the amount recovered, as provided by the department by rule.
48.623(4) (4)Annual review. A county department or the department shall review a placement of a child for which the county department or department makes payments under sub. (1) not less than every 12 months after the county department or department begins making those payments to determine whether the child and the guardian remain eligible for those payments. If the child or the guardian is no longer eligible for those payments, the county department or department shall discontinue making those payments.
48.623(5) (5)Appeal.
48.623(5)(a)(a) Any person whose application for payments under sub. (1) is not acted on promptly or is denied on the grounds that a condition specified in sub. (1) has not been met and any person whose payments under sub. (1) are decreased under sub. (3) (c) 2. or discontinued under sub. (4) may petition the department under par. (b) for a review of that action or failure to act. Review is unavailable if the action or failure to act arose more than 45 days before submission of the petition for review.
48.623(5)(b)1.1. Upon receipt of a timely petition described in par. (a) the department shall give the applicant or recipient reasonable notice and an opportunity for a fair hearing. The department may make such additional investigation as it considers necessary. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the applicant or recipient and to the county department or subunit of the department whose action or failure to act is the subject of the petition. That county department or subunit of the department may be represented at the hearing. The department shall render its decision as soon as possible after the hearing and shall send a certified copy of its decision to the applicant or recipient and to the county department or subunit of the department whose action or failure to act is the subject of the petition. The decision of the department shall have the same effect as an order of the county department or subunit of the department whose action or failure to act is the subject of the petition. The decision shall be final, but may be revoked or modified as altered conditions may require. The department shall deny a petition for review or shall refuse to grant relief if any of the following applies:
48.623(5)(b)1.a. a. The petitioner withdraws the petition in writing.
48.623(5)(b)1.b. b. The sole issue in the petition concerns an automatic payment adjustment or change that affects an entire class of recipients and is the result of a change in state law.
48.623(5)(b)1.c. c. The petitioner abandons the petition. Abandonment occurs if the petitioner fails to appear in person or by a representative at a scheduled hearing without good cause, as determined by the department.
48.623(5)(b)2. 2. If a recipient requests a hearing within 10 days after the date of notice that his or her payments under sub. (1) are being decreased or discontinued, those payments may not be decreased or discontinued until a decision is rendered after the hearing but payments made pending the hearing decision may be recovered by the department if the contested action or failure to act is upheld. The department shall promptly notify the county department or the subunit of the department whose action is the subject of the hearing that the recipient has requested a hearing. Payments under sub. (1) shall be decreased or discontinued if the recipient is contesting a state law or a change in state law and not the determination of the payment made on the recipient's behalf.
48.623(5)(b)3. 3. The recipient shall be promptly informed in writing if his or her payments under sub. (1) are to be decreased or discontinued pending the hearing decision.
48.623(6) (6)Interim caretaker. On the death, incapacity, resignation, or removal of a guardian receiving payments under sub. (1), the county department or the department providing those payments shall provide monthly subsidized guardianship payments in the amount specified in sub. (3) (b) for a period of up to 12 months to an interim caretaker if all of the following conditions are met:
48.623(6)(a) (a) The county department or department inspects the home of the interim caretaker, interviews the interim caretaker, and determines that placement of the child with the interim caretaker is in the best interests of the child. In the case of an Indian child, the best interests of the Indian child shall be determined in accordance with s. 48.01 (2).
48.623(6)(b) (b) The county department or department conducts a background investigation under s. 48.685 of the interim caretaker and any nonclient resident, as defined in s. 48.685 (1) (bm), of the home of the interim caretaker and determines that those individuals meet the requirements specified in s. 48.685. The county department or department shall provide the department of health services with information about each person who is denied monthly subsidized guardianship payments or permission to reside in the home of an interim caretaker for a reason specified in s. 48.685 (4m) (a) 1. to 5. or (b) 1. to 5.
48.623(6)(c) (c) The interim caretaker cooperates with the county department or department in finding a permanent placement for the child.
48.623(6)(d) (d) If the county department or department knows or has reason to know that the child is an Indian child, the county department or department provides notice of the Indian child's placement in the home of the interim caretaker to the Indian child's parent, Indian custodian, and tribe and determines that the home of the interim caretaker complies with the order of placement preference under s. 48.028 (7) (b) or, if applicable, s. 48.028 (7) (c), unless the county department or department finds good cause, as described in s. 48.028 (7) (e), for departing from that order.
48.623(7) (7)Rules. The department shall promulgate rules to implement this section. Those rules shall include all of the following:
48.623(7)(a) (a) A rule defining the substantial change in circumstances under which a person receiving monthly subsidized guardianship payments under sub. (1) may request that an agreement made under sub. (2) be amended to increase the amount of those payments.
48.623(7)(b) (b) Rules establishing requirements for submitting a request under sub. (3) (c) 1. and criteria for determining the amount of the increase in monthly subsidized guardianship payments that a county department or the department shall offer if there has been a substantial change in circumstances and if there has been no substantiated report of abuse or neglect of the child by the person receiving those payments.
48.623(7)(c) (c) Rules establishing the criteria for determining the amount of the decrease in monthly subsidized guardianship payments that the department shall offer under sub. (3) (c) 2. if a substantial change in circumstances no longer exists. The criteria shall provide that the amount of the decrease offered by the department under sub. (3) (c) 2. may not result in a monthly subsidized guardianship payment that is less than the initial monthly subsidized guardianship payment provided for the child under sub. (1).
48.623 History History: 2011 a. 32 ss. 1332n, 1332q to 1332u, 1332w; Stats. 2011 s. 48.623; 2013 a. 20.
48.623 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. DCF 55, Wis. adm. code.
48.625 48.625 Licensing of group homes; fees.
48.625(1) (1) Any person who receives, with or without transfer of legal custody, 5 to 8 children, not including children who under sub. (1m) are not counted toward that number, to provide care and maintenance for those children shall obtain a license to operate a group home from the department. To obtain a license under this subsection to operate a group home, a person must meet the determination of need requirement under sub. (1g), meet the minimum requirements for a license established by the department under s. 48.67, meet the requirements specified in s. 48.685, and pay the license fee under sub. (2). A license issued under this subsection is valid until revoked or suspended, but shall be reviewed every 2 years as provided in s. 48.66 (5).
48.625(1g) (1g) No person may apply for a license under sub. (1) to operate a new group home or for an amendment to a license under sub. (1) that would increase the bed capacity of an existing group home until the department has reviewed the need for the additional placement resources that would be made available by the issuance or amendment of the license and has certified in writing that a need exists for the proposed additional placement resources. The department shall promulgate rules to implement this subsection.
48.625(1m) (1m) The department may issue a license under sub. (1) authorizing a group home solely to provide a safe and structured living arrangement for children 12 years of age or over who are custodial parents, as defined in s. 49.141 (1) (b), or expectant mothers and who are placed in the group home under s. 48.345 (3) (cm) or 938.34 (3) (cm) and for children 14 years of age or over who are custodial parents, as defined in s. 49.141 (1) (b), or expectant mothers and who are placed in the group home under voluntary agreements under s. 48.63 (5), and to provide those children with training in parenting skills, including child development, family budgeting, health and nutrition, and other skills to promote the long-term economic independence of those children and the well-being of the children of those children. In licensing a group home described in this subsection, the department may not count toward the number of children whom the group home is licensed to serve the child of a child who is placed in the group home. The department shall promulgate rules establishing standards for a group home described in this subsection. Those rules shall require such a group home to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the child of any child custodial parent who has been placed in that group home and to have a policy governing visitation between such a child and the child's noncustodial parent.
48.625(2) (2)
48.625(2)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (c), before the department may issue a license under sub. (1) to a group home, the group home must pay to the department a biennial fee of $121, plus a biennial fee of $18.15 per child, based on the number of children that the group home is licensed to serve. A group home that wishes to continue a license issued under sub. (1) shall pay the fee under this paragraph by the continuation date of the license. A new group home shall pay the fee under this paragraph no later than 30 days before the opening of the group home.
48.625(2)(b) (b) A group home that wishes to continue a license issued under sub. (1) and that fails to pay the fee under par. (a) by the continuation date of the license or a new group home that fails to pay the fee under par. (a) by 30 days before the opening of the group home shall pay an additional fee of $5 per day for every day after the deadline that the group home fails to pay the fee.
48.625(2)(c) (c) An individual who is eligible for a fee waiver under the veterans fee waiver program under s. 45.44 is not required to pay the fee under par. (a) for a license under sub. (1).
48.625(2m) (2m) When the department issues a license to operate a group home, the department shall notify the clerk of the school district in which the group home is located that a group home has been licensed in the school district.
48.625(3) (3) This section does not apply to a foster home licensed under s. 48.62 (1) or to a relative or guardian of a child or a person delegated care and custody of a child under s. 48.979 who provides care and maintenance for the child.
48.627 48.627 Foster and family-operated group home parent insurance and liability.
48.627(1) (1) In this section, "family-operated group home" means a home licensed under s. 48.625 for which the licensee is one or more individuals who operate not more than one group home.
48.627(2) (2)
48.627(2)(a)(a) Before the department, a county department, or a licensed child welfare agency may issue, renew, or continue a foster home or family-operated group home license, the licensing agency shall require the applicant to furnish proof satisfactory to the licensing agency that he or she has homeowner's or renter's liability insurance that provides coverage for negligent acts or omissions by children placed in a foster home or family-operated group home that result in bodily injury or property damage to 3rd parties.
48.627(2)(b) (b) A licensing agency may, in accordance with rules promulgated by the department, waive the requirement under par. (a) if the applicant shows that he or she is unable to obtain the required insurance, that he or she has had a homeowner's or renter's liability insurance policy canceled or that payment of the premium for the required insurance would cause undue financial hardship.
48.627(2)(c) (c) The department shall conduct a study to determine the cost-effectiveness of purchasing insurance to provide standard homeowner's or renter's liability insurance coverage for applicants who are granted a waiver under par. (b). If the department determines that it would be cost-effective to purchase such insurance, it may purchase the insurance from the appropriations under s. 20.437 (1) (cf) and (pd).
48.627(2)(d) (d) The licensing agency shall specify the amounts of liability insurance coverage required under par. (a).
48.627(2c) (2c) The department shall determine the cost-effectiveness of purchasing private insurance that would provide coverage to foster and family-operated group home parents for acts or omissions by or affecting a child who is placed in a foster home or a family-operated group home. If this private insurance is cost-effective and available, the department shall purchase the insurance from the appropriations under s. 20.437 (1) (cf) and (pd). If the insurance is unavailable, payment of claims for acts or omissions by or affecting a child who is placed in a foster home or a family-operated group home shall be in accordance with subs. (2m) to (3).
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before Dec. 13, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after Dec. 13, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 12-13-14)