48.981(7)(a)3. 3. A health care provider, as defined in s. 146.81 (1) (a) to (p), for purposes of diagnosis and treatment.
48.981(7)(a)3m. 3m. A child's parent, guardian or legal custodian or the expectant mother of an unborn child, except that the person or agency maintaining the record or report may not disclose any information that would identify the reporter.
48.981(7)(a)4. 4. A child's foster parent or other person having physical custody of the child or a person having physical custody of the expectant mother of an unborn child, except that the person or agency maintaining the record or report may not disclose any information that would identify the reporter.
48.981(7)(a)4m. 4m. A relative of a child placed outside of his or her home only to the extent necessary to facilitate the establishment of a relationship between the child and the relative or a placement of the child with the relative or to a person provided with the notice under s. 48.21 (5) (e), 48.355 (2) (cm), or 48.357 (2v) (d). In this subdivision, “relative" includes a relative whose relationship is derived through a parent of the child whose parental rights are terminated.
48.981(7)(a)4p. 4p. A public or private agency in this state or any other state that is investigating a person for purposes of licensing the person to operate a foster home or placing a child for adoption in the home of the person or for the purposes of conducting a background investigation of an adult congregate care worker, as defined in s. 48.685 (1) (ap).
48.981(7)(a)5. 5. A professional employee of a county department under s. 51.42 or 51.437 who is working with the child or the expectant mother of the unborn child under contract with or under the supervision of the county department under s. 46.22 or, in a county having a population of 750,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department.
48.981(7)(a)6. 6. A multidisciplinary child abuse and neglect or unborn child abuse team recognized by the county department or, in a county having a population of 750,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department.
48.981(7)(a)6m. 6m. A person employed by a child advocacy center recognized by the county board, the county department or, in a county having a population of 750,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department, to the extent necessary to perform the services for which the center is recognized by the county board, the county department, the department or the licensed child welfare agency.
48.981(7)(a)8. 8. A law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency or a district attorney for purposes of investigation or prosecution.
48.981(7)(a)8m. 8m. The department of corrections, the department of health services, a county department under s. 46.215, 46.22, 46.23, 51.42 or 51.437 or any other person under contract with the department of corrections, the department of health services or a county department under s. 46.215, 46.22, 46.23, 51.42 or 51.437 to exercise custody or supervision over a person who is subject to community placement for purposes of investigating or providing services to a person who is subject to community placement and who is the subject of a report. In making its investigation, the department of corrections, department of health services, county department or other person shall cooperate with the agency making the investigation under sub. (3) (c) or (d).
48.981(7)(a)8s. 8s. Authorized representatives of the department of corrections, the department of health services, the department of justice, or a district attorney for use in the prosecution of any proceeding or any evaluation conducted under ch. 980, if the reports or records involve or relate to an individual who is the subject of the proceeding or evaluation. The court in which the proceeding under ch. 980 is pending may issue any protective orders that it determines are appropriate concerning information made available or disclosed under this subdivision. Any representative of the department of corrections, the department of health services, the department of justice, or a district attorney may disclose information obtained under this subdivision for any purpose consistent with any proceeding under ch. 980.
48.981(7)(a)9. 9. A court or administrative agency for use in a proceeding relating to the licensing or regulation of a facility regulated under this chapter.
48.981(7)(a)10. 10. A court conducting proceedings under s. 48.21 or 48.213, a court conducting proceedings related to a petition under s. 48.13, 48.133 or 48.42 or a court conducting dispositional proceedings under subch. VI or VIII in which abuse or neglect of the child who is the subject of the report or record or abuse of the unborn child who is the subject of the report or record is an issue.
48.981(7)(a)10g. 10g. A court conducting proceedings under s. 48.21, a court conducting proceedings related to a petition under s. 48.13 (3m) or (10m) or a court conducting dispositional proceedings under subch. VI in which an issue is the substantial risk of abuse or neglect of a child who, during the time period covered by the report or record, was in the home of the child who is the subject of the report or record.
48.981(7)(a)10j. 10j. A court conducting proceedings under s. 938.21, a court conducting proceedings relating to a petition under ch. 938 or a court conducting dispositional proceedings under subch. VI of ch. 938 in which abuse or neglect of the child who is the subject of the report or record is an issue.
48.981(7)(a)10m. 10m. A tribal court, or other adjudicative body authorized by an Indian tribe to perform child welfare functions, that exercises jurisdiction over children and unborn children alleged to be in need of protection or services for use in proceedings in which abuse or neglect of the child who is the subject of the report or record or abuse of the unborn child who is the subject of the report or record is an issue.
48.981(7)(a)10r. 10r. A tribal court, or other adjudicative body authorized by an Indian tribe to perform child welfare functions, that exercises jurisdiction over children alleged to be in need of protection or services for use in proceedings in which an issue is the substantial risk of abuse or neglect of a child who, during the time period covered by the report or record, was in the home of the child who is the subject of the report or record.
48.981(7)(a)11. 11. The county corporation counsel or district attorney representing the interests of the public, the agency legal counsel and the counsel or guardian ad litem representing the interests of a child in proceedings under subd. 10., 10g. or 10j. and the guardian ad litem representing the interests of an unborn child in proceedings under subd. 10.
48.981(7)(a)11m. 11m. An attorney representing the interests of an Indian tribe in proceedings under subd. 10m. or 10r., of an Indian child in proceedings under subd. 10m. or 10r. or of an Indian unborn child in proceedings under subd. 10m.
48.981(7)(a)11r. 11r. A volunteer court-appointed special advocate designated under s. 48.236 (1) or person employed by a court-appointed special advocate program recognized by the chief judge of a judicial administrative district under s. 48.07 (5), to the extent necessary for the court-appointed special advocate to perform the advocacy services specified in s. 48.236 (3) that the court-appointed special advocate was designated to perform in proceedings related to a petition under s. 48.13.
48.981(7)(a)12. 12. A person engaged in bona fide research, with the permission of the department. Information identifying subjects and reporters may not be disclosed to the researcher.
48.981(7)(a)13. 13. The department, a county department under s. 48.57 (1) (e) or (hm) or a licensed child welfare agency ordered to conduct a screening or an investigation of a stepparent under s. 48.88 (2) (c).
48.981(7)(a)14. 14. A grand jury if it determines that access to specified records is necessary for the conduct of its official business.
48.981(7)(a)14m. 14m. A judge conducting proceedings under s. 968.26.
48.981(7)(a)15. 15. A child fatality review team recognized by the county department or, in a county having a population of 750,000 or more, the department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department.
48.981(7)(a)15g. 15g. A citizen review panel established or designated by the department or a county department.
48.981(7)(a)15m. 15m. A coroner, medical examiner or pathologist or other physician investigating the cause of death of a child whose death is unexplained or unusual or is associated with unexplained or suspicious circumstances.
48.981(7)(a)17. 17. A federal agency, state agency of this state or any other state or local governmental unit located in this state or any other state that has a need for a report or record in order to carry out its responsibility to protect children from abuse or neglect or to protect unborn children from abuse.
48.981(7)(am) (am) Notwithstanding par. (a) (intro.), a tribal agent who receives notice under sub. (3) (bm) may disclose the notice to a tribal social services department.
48.981(7)(b) (b) Notwithstanding par. (a), either parent of a child may authorize the disclosure of a record for use in a child custody proceeding under s. 767.41 or 767.451 or in an adoption proceeding under s. 48.833, 48.835, 48.837 or 48.839 when the child has been the subject of a report. Any information that would identify a reporter shall be deleted before disclosure of a record under this paragraph.
48.981(7)(c) (c) Notwithstanding par. (a), the subject of a report may authorize the disclosure of a record to the subject's attorney. The authorization shall be in writing. Any information that would identify a reporter shall be deleted before disclosure of a record under this paragraph.
48.981(7)(cm) (cm) Notwithstanding par. (a), an agency may disclose information from its records for use in proceedings under s. 48.25 (6), 813.122 or 813.125.
48.981(7)(cp) (cp) Notwithstanding par. (a), an agency may disclose a determination made before January 1, 2015, that a person has abused or neglected a child for purposes of a background check under s. 48.685, 48.686, or 50.065 only if that determination has not been reversed or modified on appeal and may disclose such a determination made on or after January 1, 2015, for those purposes only as provided in sub. (3) (c) 5r. Nothing in this paragraph prevents the disclosure of a report or record as otherwise permitted under this subsection.
48.981(7)(cr)1.1. In this paragraph:
48.981(7)(cr)1.a. a. “Incident of death or serious injury" means an incident in which a child has died or been placed in serious or critical condition, as determined by a physician, as a result of any suspected abuse or neglect that has been reported under this section or in which a child who has been placed outside the home by a court order under this chapter or ch. 938 is suspected to have committed suicide.
48.981(7)(cr)1.b. b. “Incident of egregious abuse or neglect" means an incident of suspected abuse or neglect that has been reported under this section, other than an incident of death or serious injury, involving significant violence, torture, multiple victims, the use of inappropriate or cruel restraints, exposure of a child to a dangerous situation, or other similar, aggravated circumstances.
48.981(7)(cr)2. 2. Notwithstanding par. (a), if an agency that receives a report under sub. (3) has reason to suspect that an incident of death or serious injury or an incident of egregious abuse or neglect has occurred, within 2 working days after determining that such an incident is suspected to have occurred the agency shall provide all of the following information to the subunit of the department responsible for statewide oversight of child abuse and neglect programs:
48.981(7)(cr)2.a. a. The name of the agency and the name of a contact person at the agency.
48.981(7)(cr)2.b. b. Information about the child, including the age of the child.
48.981(7)(cr)2.c. c. The date of the incident and the suspected cause of the death, serious injury, or egregious abuse or neglect of the child.
48.981(7)(cr)2.d. d. A brief history of any reports under sub. (3) received in which the child, a member of the child's family, or the person suspected of the abuse or neglect was the subject and of any services under this chapter offered or provided to any of those persons.
48.981(7)(cr)2.e. e. A statement of whether the child was residing in his or her home or was placed outside the home when the incident occurred.
48.981(7)(cr)2.f. f. The identity of any law enforcement agency that referred the report of the incident and of any law enforcement agency, district attorney, or other officer or agency to which the report of the incident was referred.
48.981(7)(cr)3.a.a. Within 2 working days after receiving the information provided under subd. 2., the subunit of the department that received the information shall disclose to the public the fact that the subunit has received the information; whether the department is conducting a review of the incident and, if so, the scope of the review and the identities of any other agencies with which the department is cooperating at that point in conducting the review; whether the child was residing in the home or was placed in an out-of-home placement at the time of the incident; and information about the child, including the age of the child. If the information received is about an incident of egregious abuse or neglect, the subunit of the department shall make the same disclosure to a citizen review panel, as described in par. (a) 15g., and, in a county having a population of 750,000 or more, to the Milwaukee child welfare partnership council.
48.981(7)(cr)3.b. b. Within 90 days after receiving the information provided under subd. 2., the subunit of the department that received the information shall prepare, transmit to the governor and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3), and make available to the public a summary report that contains the information specified in subd. 4. or 5., whichever is applicable. That subunit may also include in the summary report a summary of any actions taken by the agency in response to the incident and of any changes in policies or practices that have been made to address any issues raised in the review and recommendations for any further changes in policies, practices, rules, or statutes that may be needed to address those issues. If the subunit does not include those actions or changes and recommended changes in the summary report, the subunit shall prepare, transmit to the governor and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3), and make available to the public a report of those actions or changes and recommended changes within 6 months after receiving the information provided under subd. 2. Those committees shall review all summary reports and reports of changes and recommended changes transmitted under this subd. 3. b., conduct public hearings on those reports no less often than annually, and submit recommendations to the department regarding those reports.
48.981(7)(cr)3.c. c. Subdivision 3. a. and b. does not preclude the subunit of the department that prepares the summary report from releasing to the governor, to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3), or to the public any of the information specified in subd. 4. or 5. before the summary report is transmitted to the governor and to those committees and made available to the public; adding to or amending a summary report if new information specified in subd. 4. or 5. is received after the summary report is transmitted to the governor and to those committees and made available to the public; or releasing to the governor, to those committees, and to the public any information at any time to correct any inaccurate information reported in the news media.
48.981(7)(cr)4. 4. If the child was residing in his or her home when the incident of death or serious injury or the incident of egregious abuse or neglect occurred, the summary report under subd. 3. shall contain all of the following:
48.981(7)(cr)4.a. a. Information about the child, including the age, gender, and race or ethnicity of the child, a description of the child's family, and, if relevant to the incident, a description of any special needs of the child.
48.981(7)(cr)4.b. b. A statement of whether any services under this chapter or ch. 938 were being provided to the child, any member of the child's family, or the person suspected of the abuse or neglect, or whether any of those persons was the subject of a report being investigated under sub. (3) or of a referral to the agency for services, at the time of the incident and, if so, the date of the last contact between the agency providing those services and the person receiving those services.
48.981(7)(cr)4.c. c. A summary of all involvement of the child's parents and of the person suspected of the abuse or neglect in any incident reported under sub. (3) or in receiving services under this chapter or ch. 938 in the 5 years preceding the date of the incident.
48.981(7)(cr)4.d. d. A summary of any actions taken by the agency with respect to the child, any member of the child's family, and the person suspected of the abuse or neglect, including any investigation by the agency under sub. (3) of a report in which any of those persons was the subject and any referrals by the agency of any of those persons for services.
48.981(7)(cr)4.e. e. The date of the incident and the suspected cause of the death, serious injury, or egregious abuse or neglect of the child, as reported by the agency under subd. 2. c.
48.981(7)(cr)4.f. f. The findings on which the agency bases its reasonable suspicion that an incident of death or serious injury or an incident of egregious abuse or neglect has occurred, including any material circumstances leading to the death, serious injury, or egregious abuse or neglect of the child.
48.981(7)(cr)4.g. g. A summary of any investigation that has been conducted under sub. (3) of a report in which the child, any member of the child's family, or the person suspected of the abuse or neglect was the subject and of any services that have been provided to the child and the child's family since the date of the incident.
48.981(7)(cr)5. 5. If the child was placed in an out-of-home placement under this chapter or ch. 938 at the time of the incident of death or serious injury or incident of egregious abuse or neglect, the summary report under subd. 3. shall contain all of the following:
48.981(7)(cr)5.a. a. Information about the child, including the age, gender, and race or ethnicity of the child and, if relevant to the incident, a description of any special needs of the child.
48.981(7)(cr)5.b. b. A description of the out-of-home placement, including the basis for the decision to place the child in that placement.
48.981(7)(cr)5.c. c. A description of all other persons residing in the out-of-home placement.
48.981(7)(cr)5.d. d. The licensing history of the out-of-home placement, including the type of license held by the operator of the placement, the period for which the placement has been licensed, and a summary of all violations by the licensee of any provisions of licensure under s. 48.70 (1) or rules promulgated by the department under s. 48.67 and of any other actions by the licensee or an employee of the licensee that constitute a substantial failure to protect and promote the health, safety, and welfare of a child.
48.981(7)(cr)5.e. e. The date of the incident and the suspected cause of the death, serious injury, or egregious abuse or neglect of the child, as reported by the agency under subd. 2. c.
48.981(7)(cr)5.f. f. The findings on which the agency bases its reasonable suspicion that an incident of death or serious injury or an incident of egregious abuse or neglect has occurred, including any material circumstances leading to the death, serious injury, or egregious abuse or neglect of the child.
48.981(7)(cr)6. 6. A summary report or other release or disclosure of information under subd. 3. may not include any of the following:
48.981(7)(cr)6.a. a. Any information that would reveal the identity of the child who is the subject of the summary report, any member of the child's family, any member of the child's household who is a child, or any caregiver of the child.
48.981(7)(cr)6.b. b. Any information that would reveal the identity of the person suspected of the abuse or neglect or any employee of any agency that provided services under this chapter to the child or that participated in the investigation of the incident of death or serious injury or the incident of egregious abuse or neglect.
48.981(7)(cr)6.c. c. Any information that would reveal the identity of a reporter or of any other person who provides information relating to the incident of death or serious injury or the incident of egregious abuse or neglect.
48.981(7)(cr)6.d. d. Any information the disclosure of which would not be in the best interests of the child who is the subject of the summary report, any member of the child's family, any member of the child's household who is a child, or any caregiver of the child, as determined by the subunit of the department that received the information, after consultation with the agency that reported the incident of death or serious injury or the incident of egregious abuse or neglect, the district attorney of the county in which the incident occurred, or the court of that county, and after balancing the interest of the child, family or household member, or caregiver in avoiding the stigma that might result from disclosure against the interest of the public in obtaining that information.
48.981(7)(cr)6.e. e. Any information the disclosure of which is not authorized by state law or rule or federal law or regulation.
48.981(7)(cr)7. 7. The subunit of the department that prepares a summary report or otherwise transmits, releases, or discloses information under subd. 3. may not transmit the summary report to the governor and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3), make the summary report available to the public, or transmit, release, or disclose the information to the governor, to those standing committees, or to the public if the subunit determines that transmitting or making the summary report available or transmitting, releasing, or disclosing the information would jeopardize any of the following:
48.981(7)(cr)7.a. a. Any ongoing or future criminal investigation or prosecution or a defendant's right to a fair trial.
48.981(7)(cr)7.b. b. Any ongoing or future civil investigation or proceeding or the fairness of such a proceeding.
48.981(7)(cr)8. 8. If the department fails to disclose to the governor, to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3), or to the public any information that the department is required to disclose under this paragraph, any person may request the department to disclose that information. If the person's request is denied, the person may petition the court to order the disclosure of that information. On receiving a petition under this subdivision, the court shall notify the department, the agency, the district attorney, the child, and the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the petition. If any person notified objects to the disclosure, the court may hold a hearing to take evidence and hear argument relating to the disclosure of the information. The court shall make an in camera inspection of the information sought to be disclosed and shall order disclosure of the information, unless the court finds that any of the circumstances specified in subd. 6. or 7. apply.
48.981(7)(cr)9. 9. Any person acting in good faith in providing information under subd. 2., in preparing, transmitting, or making available a summary report under subd. 3., or in otherwise transmitting, releasing, or disclosing information under subd. 3. is immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that may result by reason of those actions. For purposes of any proceeding, civil or criminal, the good faith of a person in providing information under subd. 2., in preparing, transmitting, or making available a summary report under subd. 3., or in otherwise transmitting, releasing, or disclosing information under subd. 3. shall be presumed.
48.981(7)(d) (d) Notwithstanding par. (a), the department may have access to any report or record maintained by an agency under this section.
48.981(7)(dm) (dm) Notwithstanding par. (a), an agency may enter the content of any report or record maintained by the agency into the statewide automated child welfare information system established under s. 48.47 (7g).
48.981(7)(e) (e) A person to whom a report or record is disclosed under this subsection may not further disclose it, except to the persons and for the purposes specified in this section.
48.981(7)(f) (f) Any person who violates this subsection, or who permits or encourages the unauthorized dissemination or use of information contained in reports and records made under this section, may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 6 months or both.
48.981(8) (8)Education, training and program development and coordination.
48.981(8)(a)(a) The department, the county departments, and a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department in a county having a population of 750,000 or more to the extent feasible shall conduct continuing education and training programs for staff of the department, the county departments, licensed child welfare agencies under contract with the department or a county department, law enforcement agencies, and the tribal social services departments, persons and officials required to report, the general public, and others as appropriate. The programs shall be designed to encourage reporting of child abuse and neglect and of unborn child abuse, to encourage self-reporting and voluntary acceptance of services and to improve communication, cooperation, and coordination in the identification, prevention, and treatment of child abuse and neglect and of unborn child abuse. Programs provided for staff of the department, county departments, and licensed child welfare agencies under contract with county departments or the department whose responsibilities include the investigation or treatment of child abuse or neglect shall also be designed to provide information on means of recognizing and appropriately responding to domestic abuse, as defined in s. 49.165 (1) (a). The department, the county departments, and a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department in a county having a population of 750,000 or more shall develop public information programs about child abuse and neglect and about unborn child abuse.
48.981(8)(b) (b) The department shall to the extent feasible ensure that there are available in the state administrative procedures, personnel trained in child abuse and neglect and in unborn child abuse, multidisciplinary programs and operational procedures and capabilities to deal effectively with child abuse and neglect cases and with unborn child abuse cases. These procedures and capabilities may include, but are not limited to, receipt, investigation and verification of reports; determination of treatment or ameliorative social services; or referral to the appropriate court.
48.981(8)(c) (c) In meeting its responsibilities under par. (a) or (b), the department, a county department or a licensed child welfare agency under contract with the department in a county having a population of 750,000 or more may contract with any public or private organization which meets the standards set by the department. In entering into the contracts the department, county department or licensed child welfare agency shall give priority to parental organizations combating child abuse and neglect or unborn child abuse.
48.981(8)(d)1.1. Each agency staff member and supervisor whose responsibilities include investigation or treatment of child abuse and neglect or of unborn child abuse shall successfully complete training in child abuse and neglect protective services and in unborn child abuse protective services approved by the department. The training shall include information on means of recognizing and appropriately responding to domestic abuse, as defined in s. 49.165 (1) (a). The department shall monitor compliance with this subdivision according to rules promulgated by the department.
48.981(8)(d)2. 2. Each year the department shall make available training programs that permit intake workers and agency staff members and supervisors to satisfy the requirements under subd. 1. and s. 48.06 (1) (am) 3. and (2) (c).
48.981 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. DCF 43, Wis. adm. code.
48.981(9) (9)Quarterly reports.
48.981(9)(a) (a) Within 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter, the department shall prepare and transmit to the governor, and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3), a summary report of all reports received by the department under sub. (3) (c) 8. during the previous calendar quarter of abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), of a child who is placed in the home of a foster parent or relative other than a parent or in a group home, shelter care facility, or residential care center for children and youth. For each report included in the summary report, the department shall provide the number of incidents of abuse reported; the dates of those incidents; the county in which those incidents occurred; the age or age group of the child who is the subject of the report; the type of placement in which the child was placed at the time of the incident; whether it was determined under sub. (3) (c) 4. that abuse occurred; and, if so, the nature of the relationship between the child and the person who abused the child, but may not provide any of the information specified in sub. (7) (cr) 6. or any information that would jeopardize an investigation, prosecution, or proceeding described in sub. (7) (cr) 7. a. or b.
48.981(9)(b) (b) In every 4th summary report prepared and transmitted under par. (a), the department shall provide for all reports of abuse, as defined in s. 48.02 (1) (b) to (f), of a child who is placed as described in par. (a) received by the department under sub. (3) (c) 8. during the previous year information indicating whether the abuse resulted in any injury, disease, or pregnancy that is known to be directly caused by the abuse, but may not provide any of the information specified in sub. (7) (cr) 6. or any information that would jeopardize an investigation, prosecution, or proceeding described in sub. (7) (cr) 7. a. or b. A county department reporting under sub. (3) (c) 8. shall make an active effort to obtain that information and report the information to the department under sub. (3) (c) 8.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 50 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on December 6, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after December 6, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 12-6-19)