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.
48.981(9)(c) (c) The appropriate standing committees of the legislature shall review all summary reports transmitted under par. (a), conduct public hearings on those summary reports no less often than annually, and submit recommendations to the department regarding those summary reports. The department shall also make those summary reports available to the public.
48.981(10) (10)Current list of tribal agents. The department shall annually provide to each agency described in sub. (3) (bm) (intro.) a current list of all tribal agents in the state.
48.981(11) (11)Investigations involving children with disabilities.
48.981(11)(a)(a) In this subsection, “child with a disability" means a child with a disability, as defined in s. 106.50 (1m) (g), including a child with a disability, as defined in s. 115.76 (5) (a).
48.981(11)(b) (b) The department shall develop and implement a plan for identifying and addressing areas in which there is a need for improvement in the practices used to investigate reports of suspected or threatened abuse or neglect of a child with a disability. In developing that plan the department shall use an open public participation process that includes the input of representatives of law enforcement agencies, the department of health services, and other stakeholders that the department considers appropriate. On completion of the plan, the department shall post the plan on its Internet site and distribute copies of the plan to all agencies that conduct abuse and neglect investigations in this state. At a minimum, the department shall consider including in the plan all of the following:
48.981(11)(b)1. 1. A requirement that each agency, on receipt of a report of suspected or threatened abuse or neglect, ask the reporter whether the child who is the subject of the report is a child with a disability.
48.981(11)(b)2. 2. Procedures for agencies to use to identify and address any specific categories of disabilities that a child with a disability reported to the agency may have.
48.981(11)(b)3. 3. Procedures to ensure that each agency is in compliance with Part A of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC 12131 to 12134. Those procedures shall include reasonable modifications to the rules, policies, and practices of the agency, the removal of architectural, communication, and transportation barriers, and the provision of auxiliary aids and services as necessary to enable a person with a disability to receive the services or participate in the programs or activities provided by the agency.
48.981(11)(b)4. 4. Interviewing strategies tailored to the investigation of abuse or neglect reports involving children with disabilities that include forensic interviewing strategies for interviewing those children, including children with communication issues.
48.981(11)(b)5. 5. Information on how to access collateral information regarding a child with a disability.
48.981(11)(b)6. 6. Information on how to access specialized follow-up services for children with disabilities.
48.981(11)(b)8. 8. Plans for the training of agency staff in the implementation of the plan.
48.981(11)(c) (c) The department shall take action on the plan under par. (b) by January 1, 2017. Each agency that conducts abuse and neglect investigations in this state shall adopt the plan by July 1, 2017, and shall provide a copy of the plan to all law enforcement agencies within the jurisdiction of the agency as well as to any other person on request.
48.981 Annotation Even if the authority for a warrantless search can be inferred from ch. 48, those provisions cannot supersede the constitutional provisions prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures. State v. Boggess, 115 Wis. 2d 443, 340 N.W.2d 516 (1983).
48.981 AnnotationSection 48.981, 1983 stats., is not unconstitutionally vague. State v. Hurd, 135 Wis. 2d 266, 400 N.W.2d 42 (Ct. App. 1986).
48.981 Annotation Immunity under sub. (4) extends to reporters who report the necessary information to another who they expect to, and who does, report to proper authorities. Investigating the allegation prior to reporting does not run afoul of the immediate reporting requirement of sub. (3) and does not affect immunity. Allegations of negligence by reporters are not sufficient to challenge the good faith requirement of sub. (4). Phillips v. Behnke, 192 Wis. 2d 552, 531 N.W.2d 619 (Ct. App. 1995).
48.981 Annotation To overcome the presumption of good faith under sub. (4), more than a violation of sub. (3) is required. It must also be shown that the violation was “conscious" or “intentional." Drake v. Huber, 218 Wis. 2d 672, 582 N.W.2d 74 (Ct. App. 1998), 96-2964.
48.981 Annotation This section provides no basis for civil liability against a person who may, but is not required to, report abuse. Gritzner v. Michael R. 2000 WI 68, 235 Wis. 2d 781, 611 N.W.2d 906, 98-0325.
48.981 Annotation To “disclose" information under sub. (7), the recipient must have been previously unaware of the information at the time of the communication. The state has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the disclosure took place. Sub. (7) is a strict liability statute; intent is not an element of a violation. State v. Polashek, 2002 WI 74, 253 Wis. 2d 527, 646 N.W.2d 330, 00-1570.
48.981 Annotation The duty to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect under s. 48.981 (3) (a) prevails over any inconsistent terms in s. 51.30. 68 Atty. Gen. 342.
48.981 Annotation Consensual sexual conduct involving a 16 and 17 year old does not constitute child abuse. 72 Atty. Gen. 93.
48.981 Annotation Medical or mental health professionals may report suspected child abuse under the permissive provisions of sub. (2) when the abuser, rather than victim, is seen in the course of professional duties. Section 51.30 does not bar such reports made in good faith. 76 Atty. Gen. 39.
48.981 Annotation A county department may not contract with other agencies to obtain s. 48.981 reporting or investigatory services in situations other than the performance of independent investigations required by sub. (3) (d). A cooperative contract might be possible under ch. 66 in order to effectuate this purpose but the services must be furnished by the county department as defined in s. 48.02 (2g) and not by any other public or private agency. 76 Atty. Gen. 286.
48.981 AnnotationDisclosure under sub. (7) (a) 1. and (c) is mandatory. 77 Atty. Gen. 84.
48.981 Annotation The responsibility of county departments of social services to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect is discussed. Department staff members may interview a child on public school property and may exclude school personnel from the interview. School personnel cannot condition on-site interviews on notification of the child's parents. 79 Atty. Gen. 49.
48.981 Annotation Members of a social services board in a county with a county executive or a county administrator may be granted access to child abuse and neglect files under s. 48.981 if access is necessary for the performance of their statutory duties. 79 Atty. Gen. 212.
48.981 Annotation A district attorney or corporation counsel may reveal the contents of a report made under s. 48.981 in the course of a criminal prosecution or one of the civil proceedings enumerated under sub. (7) (a) 10. 81 Atty. Gen. 66.
48.981 Annotation County departments have authority to transport a child to a county-recognized child advocacy center for the purpose of an investigatory interview without consent of the primary caretaker, if to do so is necessary to an investigation of alleged child maltreatment. OAG 3-98.
48.981 Annotation The confrontation clause does not require a defendant's access to confidential child abuse reports; due process requires that the court undertake an in camera inspection of the file to determine whether it contains material exculpatory evidence. Pennsylvania v. Ritchie, 480 U.S. 39 (1987).
48.981 Annotation To the extent sub. (3) (c) 1. authorizes government officials to interview children suspected of being abused on private property and without a warrant, probable cause, consent, or exigent circumstances, it is unconstitutional as applied. However, it can be constitutionally applied, such as when government officials interview a child on public school property when they have definite and articulable evidence giving rise to a reasonable suspicion that a child has been abused by his or her parents or is in imminent danger of parental abuse. Doe v. Heck, 327 F.3d 492 (2003). See also Michael C. v. Gresbach, 526 F.3d 1008 (2008).
48.981 Annotation This section does not authorize a private cause of action for failure to report. Isley v. Capucian Province, 880 F. Supp. 1138 (1995).
48.982 48.982 Child abuse and neglect prevention board.
48.982(1)(1)Definitions. In this section:
48.982(1)(b) (b) “Board" means the child abuse and neglect prevention board.
48.982(1)(bm) (bm) “Cultural competency" means the ability of an individual or organization to understand and act respectfully toward, in a cultural context, the beliefs, interpersonal styles, attitudes and behaviors of persons and families of various cultures, including persons and families of various cultures who participate in services from the individual or organization and persons of various cultures who provide services for the individual or organization.
48.982(1)(d) (d) “Organization" means a nonprofit organization, as defined under s. 108.02 (19), or a public agency which provides or proposes to provide child abuse and neglect prevention and intervention services or parent education.
48.982(2) (2)Powers and duties. The board shall:
48.982(2)(a) (a) Biennially, develop and transmit to the governor and the presiding officer of each house of the legislature a plan for awarding grants and providing technical assistance to organizations and for providing child abuse and neglect prevention information and services on a statewide basis. The plan shall assure that there is an equal opportunity for the establishment of child abuse and neglect prevention programs and family resource centers. The plan shall also ensure that the grants will be distributed throughout all geographic areas of the state and in both urban and rural communities. For grants provided under sub. (6), the plan shall also ensure that the grants are distributed based on population.
48.982(2)(b) (b) Develop and publicize criteria for grant applications.
48.982(2)(c) (c) Review and approve or disapprove grant applications and monitor the services provided under each grant awarded under subs. (4) and (6).
48.982(2)(d) (d) Solicit and accept contributions, grants, gifts, and bequests for the children's trust fund or for any other purpose for which a contribution, grant, gift, or bequest is made and received. Moneys received under this paragraph may be credited to the appropriation accounts under s. 20.433 (1) (i) or (q).
48.982(2)(e) (e) Include as part of its annual report under s. 15.07 (6) the names and locations of organizations receiving grants, the amounts provided as grants, the services provided by grantees and the number of persons served by each grantee.
48.982(2)(f) (f) Establish a procedure for an annual evaluation of its functions, responsibilities and performance. In a year in which the biennial plan under par. (a) is prepared, the evaluation shall be coordinated with the plan.
48.982(2)(g) (g) In coordination with the department and the department of public instruction:
48.982(2)(g)1. 1. Recommend to the governor, the legislature, and state agencies changes needed in state programs, statutes, policies, budgets, and rules to reduce the problems of child abuse and neglect, improve coordination among state agencies that provide prevention services, promote individual, family, and community strengths, build parenting skills, and provide community support for children and families.
48.982(2)(g)2. 2. Promote statewide educational and public awareness campaigns and materials for the purpose of developing public awareness of the problems of child abuse and neglect.
48.982(2)(g)3. 3. Encourage professional persons and groups to recognize and deal with problems of child abuse and neglect.
48.982(2)(g)4. 4. Disseminate information about the problems of and methods of preventing child abuse and neglect to the public and to organizations concerned with those problems.
48.982(2)(g)5. 5. Encourage the development of community child abuse and neglect prevention programs.
48.982(2)(gm) (gm) Provide, for use by the board in its statewide projects under sub. (5) and for use by organizations that receive grants under subs. (4) and (6), educational and public awareness materials and programming that emphasize the role of fathers in the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect.
48.982(2e) (2e)Nonstock, nonprofit corporation.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 18 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on October 1, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 1, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-1-19)