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48.981(2)(a)29. 29. A police or law enforcement officer.
48.981(2)(b) (b) A court-appointed special advocate who has reasonable cause to suspect that a child seen in the course of activities under s. 48.236 (3) has been abused or neglected or who has reason to believe that a child seen in the course of those activities has been threatened with abuse and neglect and that abuse or neglect of the child will occur shall, except as provided in subs. (2m) and (2r), report as provided in sub. (3).
48.981(2)(bm)1.1. Except as provided in subd. 3. and subs. (2m) and (2r), a member of the clergy shall report as provided in sub. (3) if the member of the clergy has reasonable cause to suspect that a child seen by the member of the clergy in the course of his or her professional duties:
48.981(2)(bm)1.a. a. Has been abused, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f); or
48.981(2)(bm)1.b. b. Has been threatened with abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), and abuse of the child will likely occur.
48.981(2)(bm)2. 2. Except as provided in subd. 3. and subs. (2m) and (2r), a member of the clergy shall report as provided in sub. (3) if the member of the clergy has reasonable cause, based on observations made or information that he or she receives, to suspect that a member of the clergy has done any of the following:
48.981(2)(bm)2.a. a. Abused a child, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f).
48.981(2)(bm)2.b. b. Threatened a child with abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), and abuse of the child will likely occur.
48.981(2)(bm)3. 3. A member of the clergy is not required to report child abuse information under subd. 1. or 2. that he or she receives solely through confidential communications made to him or her privately or in a confessional setting if he or she is authorized to hear or is accustomed to hearing such communications and, under the disciplines, tenets, or traditions of his or her religion, has a duty or is expected to keep those communications secret. Those disciplines, tenets, or traditions need not be in writing.
48.981(2)(c) (c) Any person not otherwise specified in par. (a), (b), or (bm), including an attorney, who has reason to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected or who has reason to believe that a child has been threatened with abuse or neglect and that abuse or neglect of the child will occur may report as provided in sub. (3).
48.981(2)(d) (d) Any person, including an attorney, who has reason to suspect that an unborn child has been abused or who has reason to believe that an unborn child is at substantial risk of abuse may report as provided in sub. (3).
48.981(2)(e) (e) No person making a report under this subsection in good faith may be discharged from employment, disciplined or otherwise discriminated against in regard to employment, or threatened with any such treatment for so doing.
48.981(2m) (2m)Exception to reporting requirement; health care services.
48.981(2m)(a)(a) The purpose of this subsection is to allow children to obtain confidential health care services.
48.981(2m)(b) (b) In this subsection:
48.981(2m)(b)1. 1. "Health care provider" means a physician, as defined under s. 448.01 (5), a physician assistant, as defined under s. 448.01 (6), or a nurse holding a certificate of registration under s. 441.06 (1) or a license under s. 441.10 (3).
48.981(2m)(b)2. 2. "Health care service" means family planning services, as defined in s. 253.07 (1) (b), 1995 stats., pregnancy testing, obstetrical health care or screening, diagnosis and treatment for a sexually transmitted disease.
48.981(2m)(c) (c) Except as provided under pars. (d) and (e), the following persons are not required to report as suspected or threatened abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b), sexual intercourse or sexual contact involving a child:
48.981(2m)(c)1. 1. A health care provider who provides any health care service to a child.
48.981(2m)(c)4. 4. A person who obtains information about a child who is receiving or has received health care services from a health care provider.
48.981(2m)(d) (d) Any person described under par. (c) 1. or 4. shall report as required under sub. (2) if he or she has reason to suspect any of the following:
48.981(2m)(d)1. 1. That the sexual intercourse or sexual contact occurred or is likely to occur with a caregiver.
48.981(2m)(d)2. 2. That the child suffered or suffers from a mental illness or mental deficiency that rendered or renders the child temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding or evaluating the consequences of his or her actions.
48.981(2m)(d)3. 3. That the child, because of his or her age or immaturity, was or is incapable of understanding the nature or consequences of sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
48.981(2m)(d)4. 4. That the child was unconscious at the time of the act or for any other reason was physically unable to communicate unwillingness to engage in sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
48.981(2m)(d)5. 5. That another participant in the sexual contact or sexual intercourse was or is exploiting the child.
48.981(2m)(e) (e) In addition to the reporting requirements under par. (d), a person described under par. (c) 1. or 4. shall report as required under sub. (2) if he or she has any reasonable doubt as to the voluntariness of the child's participation in the sexual contact or sexual intercourse.
48.981(2r) (2r)Exception to reporting requirement; person delegated parental powers. A person delegated care and custody of a child under s. 48.979 is not required to report as provided in sub. (3) any suspected or threatened abuse or neglect of the child as required under sub. (2) (a), (b), or (bm) or (2m) (d) or (e). Such a person who has reason to suspect that the child has been abused or neglected or who has reason to believe that the child has been threatened with abuse or neglect and that abuse or neglect of the child will occur may report as provided in sub. (3).
48.981(3) (3)Reports; investigation.
48.981(3)(a)(a) Referral of report.
48.981(3)(a)1.1. A person required to report under sub. (2) shall immediately inform, by telephone or personally, the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department or the sheriff or city, village, or town police department of the facts and circumstances contributing to a suspicion of child abuse or neglect or of unborn child abuse or to a belief that abuse or neglect will occur.
48.981(3)(a)2. 2. The sheriff or police department shall within 12 hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays, refer to the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department all of the following types of cases reported to the sheriff or police department:
48.981(3)(a)2.a. a. Cases in which a caregiver is suspected of abuse or neglect or of threatened abuse or neglect of a child.
48.981(3)(a)2.b. b. Cases in which a caregiver is suspected of facilitating or failing to take action to prevent the suspected or threatened abuse or neglect of a child.
48.981(3)(a)2.c. c. Cases in which it cannot be determined who abused or neglected or threatened to abuse or neglect a child.
48.981(3)(a)2.d. d. Cases in which there is reason to suspect that an unborn child has been abused or there is reason to believe that an unborn child is at substantial risk of abuse.
48.981(3)(a)2d. 2d. The sheriff or police department may refer to the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department a case reported to the sheriff or police department in which a person who is not a caregiver is suspected of abuse or of threatened abuse of a child.
48.981(3)(a)2g. 2g. The county department, department, or licensed child welfare agency may require that a subsequent report of a case referred under subd. 2. or 2d. be made in writing.
48.981(3)(a)3. 3. Except as provided in sub. (3m), a county department, the department, or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall within 12 hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays, refer to the sheriff or police department all cases of suspected or threatened abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), reported to it. For cases of suspected or threatened abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (a), (am), (g), or (gm), or neglect, each county department, the department, and a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall adopt a written policy specifying the kinds of reports it will routinely report to local law enforcement authorities.
48.981(3)(a)4. 4. If the report is of suspected or threatened abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), the sheriff or police department and the county department, department, or licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall coordinate the planning and execution of the investigation of the report.
48.981(3)(b) (b) Duties of local law enforcement agencies.
48.981(3)(b)1.1. Any person reporting under this section may request an immediate investigation by the sheriff or police department if the person has reason to suspect that the health or safety of a child or of an unborn child is in immediate danger. Upon receiving such a request, the sheriff or police department shall immediately investigate to determine if there is reason to believe that the health or safety of the child or unborn child is in immediate danger and take any necessary action to protect the child or unborn child.
48.981(3)(b)2. 2. If the investigating officer has reason under s. 48.19 (1) (c) or (cm) or (d) 5. or 8. to take a child into custody, the investigating officer shall take the child into custody and deliver the child to the intake worker under s. 48.20.
48.981(3)(b)2m. 2m. If the investigating officer has reason under s. 48.193 (1) (c) or (d) 2. to take the adult expectant mother of an unborn child into custody, the investigating officer shall take the adult expectant mother into custody and deliver the adult expectant mother to the intake worker under s. 48.203.
48.981(3)(b)3. 3. If the sheriff or police department determines that criminal action is necessary, the sheriff or police department shall refer the case to the district attorney for criminal prosecution. Each sheriff and police department shall adopt a written policy specifying the kinds of reports of suspected or threatened abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), that the sheriff or police department will routinely refer to the district attorney for criminal prosecution.
48.981(3)(bm) (bm) Notice of report to Indian tribal agent. In a county that has wholly or partially within its boundaries a federally recognized Indian reservation or a bureau of Indian affairs service area for the Ho-Chunk tribe, if a county department that receives a report under par. (a) pertaining to a child or unborn child knows or has reason to know that the child is an Indian child who resides in the county or that the unborn child is an Indian unborn child whose expectant mother resides in the county, the county department shall provide notice, which shall consist only of the name and address of the Indian child or expectant mother and the fact that a report has been received about that Indian child or Indian unborn child, within 24 hours to one of the following:
48.981(3)(bm)1. 1. If the county department knows with which Indian tribe the child is affiliated, or with which Indian tribe the Indian unborn child, when born, may be eligible for affiliation, and the Indian tribe is a Wisconsin Indian tribe, the tribal agent of that tribe.
48.981(3)(bm)2. 2. If the county department does not know with which Indian tribe the child is affiliated, or with which Indian tribe the Indian unborn child, when born, may be eligible for affiliation, or the child or expectant mother is not affiliated with a Wisconsin Indian tribe, the tribal agent serving the reservation or Ho-Chunk service area where the child or expectant mother resides.
48.981(3)(bm)3. 3. If neither subd. 1. nor 2. applies, any tribal agent serving a reservation or Ho-Chunk service area in the county.
48.981(3)(c) (c) Duties of county departments.
48.981(3)(c)1.a.a. Immediately after receiving a report under par. (a), the agency shall evaluate the report to determine whether there is reason to suspect that a caregiver has abused or neglected the child, has threatened the child with abuse or neglect, or has facilitated or failed to take action to prevent the suspected or threatened abuse or neglect of the child. Except as provided in sub. (3m), if the agency determines that a caregiver is suspected of abuse or neglect or of threatened abuse or neglect of the child, determines that a caregiver is suspected of facilitating or failing to take action to prevent the suspected or threatened abuse or neglect of the child, or cannot identify an individual who is suspected of abuse or neglect or of threatened abuse or neglect of the child, within 24 hours after receiving the report the agency shall, in accordance with the authority granted to the department under s. 48.48 (17) (a) 1. or the county department under s. 48.57 (1) (a), initiate a diligent investigation to determine if the child is in need of protection or services. If the agency determines that a person who is not a caregiver is suspected of abuse or of threatened abuse, the agency may, in accordance with that authority, initiate a diligent investigation to determine if the child is in need or protection or services. Within 24 hours after receiving a report under par. (a) of suspected unborn child abuse, the agency, in accordance with that authority, shall initiate a diligent investigation to determine if the unborn child is in need of protection or services. An investigation under this subd. 1. a. shall be conducted in accordance with standards established by the department for conducting child abuse and neglect investigations or unborn child abuse investigations.
48.981(3)(c)1.b. b. If the investigation is of a report of child abuse or neglect or of threatened child abuse or neglect by a caregiver specified in sub. (1) (am) 5. to 8. who continues to have access to the child or a caregiver specified in sub. (1) (am) 1. to 4., or of a report that does not disclose who is suspected of the child abuse or neglect and in which the investigation does not disclose who abused or neglected the child, the investigation shall also include observation of or an interview with the child, or both, and, if possible, an interview with the child's parents, guardian, or legal custodian. If the investigation is of a report of child abuse or neglect or threatened child abuse or neglect by a caregiver who continues to reside in the same dwelling as the child, the investigation shall also include, if possible, a visit to that dwelling. At the initial visit to the child's dwelling, the person making the investigation shall identify himself or herself and the agency involved to the child's parents, guardian, or legal custodian. The agency may contact, observe, or interview the child at any location without permission from the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian if necessary to determine if the child is in need of protection or services, except that the person making the investigation may enter a child's dwelling only with permission from the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian or after obtaining a court order permitting the person to do so.
48.981(3)(c)2.a.a. If the person making the investigation is an employee of the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department and he or she determines that it is consistent with the child's best interest in terms of physical safety and physical health to remove the child from his or her home for immediate protection, he or she shall take the child into custody under s. 48.08 (2) or 48.19 (1) (c) and deliver the child to the intake worker under s. 48.20.
48.981(3)(c)2.b. b. If the person making the investigation is an employee of a licensed child welfare agency which is under contract with the county department and he or she determines that any child in the home requires immediate protection, he or she shall notify the county department of the circumstances and together with an employee of the county department shall take the child into custody under s. 48.08 (2) or 48.19 (1) (c) and deliver the child to the intake worker under s. 48.20.
48.981(3)(c)2m.a.a. If the person making the investigation is an employee of the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department and he or she determines that it is consistent with the best interest of the unborn child in terms of physical safety and physical health to take the expectant mother into custody for the immediate protection of the unborn child, he or she shall take the expectant mother into custody under s. 48.08 (2), 48.19 (1) (cm) or 48.193 (1) (c) and deliver the expectant mother to the intake worker under s. 48.20 or 48.203.
48.981(3)(c)2m.b. b. If the person making the investigation is an employee of a licensed child welfare agency which is under contract with the county department and he or she determines that any unborn child requires immediate protection, he or she shall notify the county department of the circumstances and together with an employee of the county department shall take the expectant mother of the unborn child into custody under s. 48.08 (2), 48.19 (1) (cm) or 48.193 (1) (c) and deliver the expectant mother to the intake worker under s. 48.20 or 48.203.
48.981(3)(c)3. 3. If the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department determines that a child, any member of the child's family or the child's guardian or legal custodian is in need of services or that the expectant mother of an unborn child is in need of services, the county department, department or licensed child welfare agency shall offer to provide appropriate services or to make arrangements for the provision of services. If the child's parent, guardian or legal custodian or the expectant mother refuses to accept the services, the county department, department or licensed child welfare agency may request that a petition be filed under s. 48.13 alleging that the child who is the subject of the report or any other child in the home is in need of protection or services or that a petition be filed under s. 48.133 alleging that the unborn child who is the subject of the report is in need of protection or services.
48.981(3)(c)4. 4. The county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall determine, within 60 days after receipt of a report that the county department, department, or licensed child welfare agency investigates under subd. 1., whether abuse or neglect has occurred or is likely to occur. The determination shall be based on a preponderance of the evidence produced by the investigation. A determination that abuse or neglect has occurred may not be based solely on the fact that the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian in good faith selects and relies on prayer or other religious means for treatment of disease or for remedial care of the child. In making a determination that emotional damage has occurred, the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall give due regard to the culture of the subjects. This subdivision does not prohibit a court from ordering medical services for the child if the child's health requires it.
48.981(3)(c)5. 5. The agency shall maintain a record of its actions in connection with each report it receives. The record shall include a description of the services provided to any child and to the parents, guardian or legal custodian of the child or to any expectant mother of an unborn child. The agency shall update the record every 6 months until the case is closed.
48.981(3)(c)5m. 5m. The county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department may include in a determination under subd. 4. a determination that a specific person has abused or neglected a child. If the county department, department, or licensed child welfare agency makes an initial determination that a specific person has abused or neglected a child, the county department, department, or licensed child welfare agency shall provide that person with an opportunity for a review of that initial determination in accordance with rules promulgated by the department before the county department, department, or licensed child welfare agency may make a final determination that the person has abused or neglected a child. Within 5 days after the date of a final determination that a specific person has abused or neglected a child, the county department, department, or licensed child welfare agency shall notify the person in writing of the determination, the person's right to a contested case hearing on the determination under ch. 227, and the procedures under sub. 5p. by which the person may receive that hearing.
Effective date note NOTE: Subd. 5m. is shown as affected eff. 1-1-15 by 2013 Wis. Act 20. Prior to 1-1-15 it reads:
Effective date text 5m. If the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department determines under subd. 4. that a specific person has abused or neglected a child, the county department, department or licensed child welfare agency, within 15 days after the date of the determination, shall notify the person in writing of the determination, the person's right to appeal the determination and the procedure by which the person may appeal the determination, and the person may appeal the determination in accordance with the procedures established by the department under this subdivision. The department shall promulgate rules establishing procedures for conducting an appeal under this subdivision. Those procedures shall include a procedure permitting an appeal under this subdivision to be held in abeyance pending the outcome of any criminal proceedings or any proceedings under s. 48.13 based on the alleged abuse or neglect or the outcome of any investigation that may lead to the filing of a criminal complaint or a petition under s. 48.13 based on the alleged abuse or neglect.
48.981(3)(c)5p. 5p. A person who is the subject of a final determination under subd. 5m. that the person has abused or neglected a child has the right to a contested case hearing on that determination under ch. 227. To receive that hearing, the person must send to the department a written request for a hearing under s. 227.44 within 10 days after the date of the notice under subd. 5m. of the determination. The department shall commence the hearing within 90 days after receipt of the request for the hearing, unless the hearing is rescheduled on the request of the person requesting the hearing or the contested case proceeding is held in abeyance as provided in this subdivision, and shall issue a final decision within 60 days after the close of the hearing. Judicial review of the final administrative decision following the hearing may be had by any party to the contested case proceeding as provided in ch. 227. The person presiding over a contested case proceeding under this subdivision may hold the hearing in abeyance pending the outcome of any criminal proceedings or any proceedings under s. 48.13 based on the alleged abuse or neglect or the outcome of any investigation that may lead to the filing of a criminal complaint or a petition under s. 48.13 based on the alleged abuse or neglect.
48.981 Note NOTE: The amendment and subdivision of subd. 5m. by 2013 Wis. Act 20 results in the creation of subd. 5p. effective 1-1-15.
48.981(3)(c)5r. 5r. Within 15 days after a final determination is made under subd. 5m. that a specific person has abused or neglected a child or, if a contested case hearing is held on such a determination, within 15 days after a final decision is made under subd. 5p. determining that a specific person has abused or neglected a child, the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall provide the subunit of the department that administers s. 48.685 with information about the person who has been determined to have abused or neglected the child.
Effective date note NOTE: Subd. 5r. is shown as amended eff. 1-1-15 by 2013 Wis. Act 20. Prior to 1-1-15 it reads:
Effective date text 5r. If the county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department determines under subd. 4. that a specific person has abused or neglected a child, the county department, department, or licensed child welfare agency, within 15 days after the date of the determination, shall provide the subunit of the department that administers s. 48.685 with information about the person who has been determined to have abused or neglected the child.
48.981(3)(c)6. 6. The agency shall, within 60 days after it receives a report from a person required under sub. (2) to report, inform the reporter what action, if any, was taken to protect the health and welfare of the child or unborn child who is the subject of the report.
48.981(3)(c)6m. 6m. If a person who is not required under sub. (2) to report makes a report and is a relative of the child, other than the child's parent, or is a relative of the expectant mother of the unborn child, that person may make a written request to the agency for information regarding what action, if any, was taken to protect the health and welfare of the child or unborn child who is the subject of the report. An agency that receives a written request under this subdivision shall, within 60 days after it receives the report or 20 days after it receives the written request, whichever is later, inform the reporter in writing of what action, if any, was taken to protect the health and welfare of the child or unborn child, unless a court order prohibits that disclosure, and of the duty to keep the information confidential under sub. (7) (e) and the penalties for failing to do so under sub. (7) (f). The agency may petition the court ex parte for an order prohibiting that disclosure and, if the agency does so, the time period within which the information must be disclosed is tolled on the date the petition is filed and remains tolled until the court issues a decision. The court may hold an ex parte hearing in camera and shall issue an order granting the petition if the court determines that disclosure of the information would not be in the best interests of the child or unborn child.
48.981(3)(c)7. 7. The county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall cooperate with law enforcement officials, courts of competent jurisdiction, tribal governments and other human services agencies to prevent, identify and treat child abuse and neglect and unborn child abuse. The county department or, in a county having a population of 500,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall coordinate the development and provision of services to abused and neglected children, to abused unborn children to families in which child abuse or neglect has occurred, to expectant mothers who have abused their unborn children, to children and families when circumstances justify a belief that abuse or neglect will occur and to the expectant mothers of unborn children when circumstances justify a belief that unborn child abuse will occur.
48.981(3)(c)8. 8. Using the format prescribed by the department, each county department shall provide the department with information about each report that the county department receives or that is received by a licensed child welfare agency that is under contract with the county department and about each investigation that the county department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the county department conducts. Using the format prescribed by the department, a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department shall provide the department with information about each report that the child welfare agency receives and about each investigation that the child welfare agency conducts. The department shall use the information to monitor services provided by county departments or licensed child welfare agencies under contract with county departments or the department. The department shall use nonidentifying information to maintain statewide statistics on child abuse and neglect and on unborn child abuse, and for planning and policy development purposes.
48.981(3)(c)9. 9. The agency may petition for child abuse restraining orders and injunctions under s. 48.25 (6).
48.981(3)(cm) (cm) Contract with licensed child welfare agencies. A county department may contract with a licensed child welfare agency to fulfill the county department's duties specified under par. (c) 1., 2. b., 2m. b., 5., 5r., 6., 6m., and 8. The department may contract with a licensed child welfare agency to fulfill the department's duties specified under par. (c) 1., 2. a., 2m. b., 3., 4., 5., 5m., 5r., 6., 6m., 7., 8,. and 9. in a county having a population of 500,000 or more. The confidentiality provisions specified in sub. (7) shall apply to any licensed child welfare agency with which a county department or the department contracts.
48.981(3)(d) (d) Independent investigation.
48.981(3)(d)1.1. In this paragraph, "agent" includes a foster parent or other person given custody of a child or a human services professional employed by a county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437 or by a child welfare agency who is working with a child or an expectant mother of an unborn child under contract with or under the supervision of the department in a county having a population of 500,000 or more or a county department under s. 46.22.
48.981(3)(d)2. 2. If an agent or employee of an agency required to investigate under this subsection is the subject of a report, or if the agency determines that, because of the relationship between the agency and the subject of a report, there is a substantial probability that the agency would not conduct an unbiased investigation, the agency shall, after taking any action necessary to protect the child or unborn child, notify the department. Upon receipt of the notice, the department, in a county having a population of less than 500,000 or a county department or child welfare agency designated by the department in any county shall conduct an independent investigation. If the department designates a county department under s. 46.22, 46.23, 51.42 or 51.437, that county department shall conduct the independent investigation. If a licensed child welfare agency agrees to conduct the independent investigation, the department may designate the child welfare agency to do so. The powers and duties of the department or designated county department or child welfare agency making an independent investigation are those given to county departments under par. (c).
48.981(3m) (3m)Alternative response pilot program.
48.981(3m)(a)(a) In this subsection, "substantial abuse or neglect" means abuse or neglect or threatened abuse or neglect that under the guidelines developed by the department under par. (b) constitutes severe abuse or neglect or a threat of severe abuse or neglect and a significant threat to the safety of a child and his or her family.
48.981(3m)(b) (b) The department shall establish a pilot program under which an agency in a county having a population of 500,000 or more or a county department that is selected to participate in the pilot program may employ alternative responses to a report of abuse or neglect or of threatened abuse or neglect. The department shall select agencies and county departments to participate in the pilot program in accordance with the department's request-for-proposal procedures and according to criteria developed by the department. Those criteria shall include an assessment of the plan of an agency or county department for involving the community in providing services for a family that is participating in the pilot program and a determination of whether an agency or a county department has an agreement with local law enforcement agencies and the representative of the public under s. 48.09 to ensure interagency cooperation in implementing the pilot program. To implement the pilot program, the department shall provide all of the following:
48.981(3m)(b)1. 1. Guidelines for determining the appropriate alternative response to a report of abuse or neglect or of threatened abuse or neglect, including guidelines for determining what types of abuse or neglect or threatened abuse or neglect constitute substantial abuse or neglect. The department need not promulgate those guidelines as rules under ch. 227.
48.981(3m)(b)2. 2. Training and technical assistance for an agency or county department that is selected to participate in the pilot program.
48.981(3m)(c) (c) Immediately after receiving a report under sub. (3) (a), an agency or county department that is participating in the pilot program shall evaluate the report to determine the most appropriate alternative response under subds. 1. to 3. to the report. Based on that evaluation, the agency or county department shall respond to the report as follows:
48.981(3m)(c)1. 1. If the agency or county department determines that there is reason to suspect that substantial abuse or neglect has occurred or is likely to occur or that an investigation under sub. (3) is otherwise necessary to ensure the safety of the child and his or her family, the agency or county department shall investigate the report as provided in sub. (3). If in conducting that investigation the agency or county department determines that it is not necessary for the safety of the child and his or her family to complete the investigation, the agency or county department may terminate the investigation and conduct an assessment under subd. 2. If the agency or county department terminates an investigation, the agency or county department shall document the reasons for terminating the investigation and notify any law enforcement agency that is cooperating in the investigation.
48.981(3m)(c)2.a.a. If the agency or county department determines that there is reason to suspect that abuse or neglect, other than substantial abuse or neglect, has occurred or is likely to occur, but that under the guidelines developed by the department under par. (b) there is no immediate threat to the safety of the child and his or her family and court intervention is not necessary, the agency or county department shall conduct a comprehensive assessment of the safety of the child and his or her family, the risk of subsequent abuse or neglect, and the strengths and needs of the child's family to determine whether services are needed to address those issues assessed and, based on the assessment, shall offer to provide appropriate services to the child's family on a voluntary basis or refer the child's family to a service provider in the community for the provision of those services.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 18, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 18, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-18-14)