Family support program.
Respite care program.
Brighter futures initiative.
Tribal adolescent services.
Purposes of chapter.
The purposes of this chapter are to conserve human resources in Wisconsin; to provide a just and humane program of services to children and unborn children in need of protection or services, nonmarital children and the expectant mothers of those unborn children; to prevent dependency, mental illness, developmental disability, mental infirmity and other forms of social maladjustment by a continuous attack on causes; to provide effective aid and services to all persons in need thereof and to assist those persons to achieve or regain self-dependence at the earliest possible date; to avoid duplication and waste of effort and money on the part of public and private agencies; and to coordinate and integrate a social welfare program.
"Department" means the department of health and family services.
"Prisoner" means any person who is either arrested, incarcerated, imprisoned or otherwise detained in excess of 12 hours by any law enforcement agency of this state, except when detention is pursuant to s. 51.15
, 51.45 (11) (b)
or 55.06 (11) (a)
or ch. 980
. "Prisoner" does not include any person who is serving a sentence of detention under s. 973.03 (4)
unless the person is in the county jail under s. 973.03 (4) (c)
"Secretary" means the secretary of health and family services.
"State health planning and development agency" means the department, as designated under s. 250.04 (12)
Secretary, powers and duties. 46.014(1)
On or before July 1 in each year, the secretary shall cause full and complete inventories and appraisals to be made of all the property of each institution administered by the department, which shall be recorded and so classified as to show separately the amount, kind and value of such property.
The secretary shall cause each of said institutions to be visited and inspected at least once a month to ascertain whether the officers and employees therein are competent and faithful in the discharge of their duties, all inmates properly cared for and governed, all accounts, books and vouchers properly kept, and all the business affairs properly conducted.
(3) Powers and duties.
The secretary shall plan for and establish within the department a program of research designed to determine the effectiveness of the treatment, curative and rehabilitative programs of the various institutions and divisions of the department. The secretary may inquire into any matter affecting social welfare and hold hearings and subpoena witnesses and make recommendations to the appropriate agencies, public or private, thereon.
At least annually, the secretary shall submit a report to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature, for distribution to the appropriate standing committees under s. 13.172 (3)
, concerning activities of community action agencies under s. 46.30
and their effectiveness in promoting social and economic opportunities for poor persons.
Cooperation with federal government.
The department may cooperate with the federal government in carrying out federal acts concerning public assistance, social security, child welfare and youth services, mental hygiene, services for the blind and in other matters of mutual concern pertaining to public welfare.
History: 1989 a. 31
; 1995 a. 27
See also chs. HFS 5
, Wis. adm. code.
The department may sue and be sued.
Disbursement of funds and facsimile signatures.
Withdrawal or disbursement of moneys deposited in a public depository, as defined in s. 34.01 (5)
, to the credit of the department or any of its divisions or agencies shall be by check, share draft or other draft signed by the secretary or by one or more persons in the department designated by written authorization of the secretary. Such checks, share drafts and other drafts shall be signed personally or by use of a mechanical device adopted by the secretary or his or her designees for affixing a facsimile signature. Any public depository shall be fully warranted and protected in making payment on any check, share draft or other draft bearing such facsimile signature notwithstanding that the facsimile may have been placed thereon without the authority of the secretary or his or her designees.
History: 1983 a. 189
s. 329 (21)
; 1983 a. 368
Agency powers and duties.
Any institution which is subject to chs. 46
and to regulation under ch. 150
shall, in cases of conflict between chs. 46
and ch. 150
, be governed by ch. 150
. The department shall promulgate rules and establish procedures for resolving any such controversy.
Milwaukee child welfare partnership council.
The Milwaukee child welfare partnership council shall do all of the following:
Formulate suggested policies and plans for the improvement of the child welfare system in Milwaukee County and make recommendations with respect to those policies and plans to the department and the legislature.
Formulate suggested measures for evaluating the effectiveness of the child welfare system in Milwaukee County, including outcome measures, and make recommendations with respect to those measures to the department and the legislature.
Formulate suggested funding priorities for the child welfare system in Milwaukee County and make recommendations with respect to those funding priorities to the department and the legislature.
Identify innovative public and private funding opportunities for the child welfare system in Milwaukee County and make recommendations with respect to those funding opportunities to the department and the legislature.
Advise the department in planning, and providing technical assistance and capacity building to support, a neighborhood-based system for the delivery of child welfare services in Milwaukee County.
History: 1995 a. 303
; 1997 a. 27
Contract powers. 46.027(1)(1)
Religious organizations; Legislative purpose.
The purpose of this section is to allow the department to contract with, or award grants to, religious organizations, under any program administered by the department, on the same basis as any other nongovernmental provider without impairing the religious character of such organizations, and without diminishing the religious freedom of beneficiaries of assistance funded under such program.
(2) Nondiscrimination against religious organizations.
If the department is authorized under ch. 16
to contract with a nongovernmental entity, or is authorized to award grants to a nongovernmental entity, religious organizations are eligible, on the same basis as any other private organization, as contractors under any program administered by the department so long as the programs are implemented consistent with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
and article I, section 18 of the Wisconsin Constitution
. Except as provided in sub. (10)
, the department may not discriminate against an organization that is or applies to be a contractor on the basis that the organization has a religious character.
(3) Religious character and freedom. 46.027(3)(a)(a)
The department shall allow a religious organization with which the department contracts or to which the department awards a grant to retain its independence from state and local governments, including the organization's control over the definition, development, practice and expression of its religious beliefs.
The department may not require a religious organization to alter its form of internal governance or to remove religious art, icons, scripture or other symbols in order to be eligible for a contract or grant.
(4) Rights of beneficiaries of assistance.
If an individual has an objection to the religious character of the organization or institution from which the individual receives, or would receive, assistance funded under any program administered by the department, the department shall provide such individual, if otherwise eligible for such assistance, within a reasonable period of time after the date of the objection with assistance from an alternative provider that is accessible to the individual. The value of the assistance offered by the alternative provider may not be less than the value of the assistance which the individual would have received from the religious organization.
(5) Employment practices.
To the extent permitted under federal law, a religious organization's exemption provided under 42 USC 2000e-la
regarding employment practices is not affected by its participation in, or receipt of funds from, programs administered by the department.
(6) Nondiscrimination against beneficiaries.
A religious organization may not discriminate against an individual in regard to rendering assistance funded under any program administered by the department on the basis of religion, a religious belief or refusal to actively participate in a religious practice.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, any religious organization that contracts with, or receives a grant from, the department is subject to the same laws and rules as other contractors to account in accord with generally accepted auditing principles for the use of such funds provided under such programs.
If the religious organization segregates funds provided under programs administered by the department into separate accounts, then only the financial assistance provided with those funds shall be subject to audit.
Any party that seeks to enforce its rights under this section may assert a civil action for injunctive relief against the entity or agency that allegedly commits the violation.
(9) Limitations on use of funds for certain purposes.
No funds provided directly to religious organizations by the department may be expended for sectarian worship, instruction or proselytization.
Nothing in this section may be construed to preempt any provision of federal law, the U.S. Constitution, the Wisconsin Constitution or any other statute that prohibits or restricts the expenditure of federal or state funds in or by religious organizations.
History: 1997 a. 27
Department, powers and duties.
The department shall:
(1) Institutions governed.
Maintain and govern the Mendota and the Winnebago mental health institutes; the secure mental health facility established under s. 46.055
; and the centers for the developmentally disabled.
(2) Supervision over property.
Supervise, manage, preserve and care for the buildings, grounds and other property pertaining to said institutions, and promote the objects for which they are established.
Be authorized to accept gifts, grants or donations of money or of property from private sources to be administered by the department for the execution of its functions. All moneys so received shall be paid into the general fund and are appropriated therefrom as provided in s. 20.435 (9) (i)
(3) Trustee duty.
Take and hold in trust, whenever it considers acceptance advantageous, all property transferred to the state to be applied to any specified purpose, use or benefit pertaining to any of the institutions under its control or the inmates thereof, and apply the same in accordance with the trust; and when ordered by the court, act as trustee of funds paid for the support of any child if appointed by the court or a circuit court commissioner under s. 767.475 (7)
Develop and maintain education and prevention programs that it considers to be proper.
In order to discharge more effectively its responsibilities under this chapter and ch. 48
and other relevant provisions of the statutes, be authorized to study causes and methods of prevention and treatment of mental illness, mental deficiency, mental infirmity, and related social problems, including establishment of demonstration projects to apply and evaluate such methods in actual cases. The department is directed and authorized to utilize all powers provided by the statutes, including the authority under sub. (2a)
, to accept grants of money or property from federal, state or private sources, and to enlist the cooperation of other appropriate agencies and state departments. The department may enter into agreements with local government subdivisions, departments and agencies for the joint conduct of these projects, and it may purchase services when deemed appropriate.
Execute the laws relating to the custody, care and treatment of mentally ill, mentally infirm and mentally deficient persons, inebriates and drug addicts. It shall examine all institutions, public and private, authorized to receive and care for such persons, and inquire into the method of government and the management of persons therein, and examine into the condition of buildings, grounds and other property connected with any such institution and into matters relating to its management.
Direct the psychiatric field work, aftercare and community supervision and exercise such powers in relation to prevention as the department deems appropriate.
Promote the enforcement of laws for the protection of developmentally disabled children, children and unborn children in need of protection or services and nonmarital children; and to this end cooperate with courts assigned to exercise jurisdiction under chs. 48
, licensed child welfare agencies and public and private institutions and take the initiative in all matters involving the interests of those children and unborn children when adequate provision for those interests has not already been made, including the establishment and enforcement of standards for services provided under ss. 48.345
Maintain a file containing records of artificial inseminations under s. 891.40
and records of declarations of paternal interest under s. 48.025
and of statements acknowledging paternity under s. 69.15 (3) (b)
. The department shall release these records only upon an order of the court except that the department may use nonidentifying information concerning artificial inseminations for the purpose of compiling statistics and except that records relating to declarations of paternal interest and statements acknowledging paternity shall be released to the department of workforce development or a county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5)
without a court order upon the request of the department of workforce development or a county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5)
pursuant to the program responsibilities under s. 49.22
or by any other person with a direct and tangible interest in the record.
Administer the laws relating to child care centers, day nurseries and nursery schools.
Promote the establishment of adequate child care facilities and services in this state by providing start-up grants to newly operating day care facilities and services under rules promulgated by the department.
With the assistance of the judicial conference, develop simplified forms for filing petitions for child abuse restraining orders and injunctions under s. 813.122
. The department shall provide these forms to clerks of circuit court without cost.
Administer child welfare services as described in s. 48.48 (17)
in a county having a population of 500,000 or more. The requirement of statewide uniformity with respect to the organization and governance of human services does not apply to the administration of child welfare services under this paragraph.
As part of its biennial budget request under s. 16.42
, submit a request for funding for child abuse prevention efforts in an amount equal to or greater than 1% of the total proposed budget of the department of corrections for the same biennium, as indicated by the estimate provided by the department of corrections under s. 301.03 (14)
Before July 1, 2005, establish a statewide automated child welfare information system.
(7m) Foster care.
In each federal fiscal year, ensure that there are no more than 2,200 children in foster care and treatment foster care placements for more than 24 months, consistent with the best interests of each child. Services provided in connection with this requirement shall comply with the requirements under P.L. 96-272
(10) Training staff.
In its discretion, conduct a training program of in-service training and staff development; and, in cooperation with educational institutions, provide facilities for work experience for students, including subsistence.
In compliance with the compensation plan established under s. 230.12 (3)
, have authority to make and determine charges for meals, living quarters, laundry and other services furnished to employees of the several institutions and members of the employee's family maintained as such. All moneys received from each person on account of these services shall be used for operation of the institutions under s. 20.435 (2) (a)
. If a chaplain employed in any state institution administered by the department is not furnished a residence by the state, $1,800 or 20% of the chaplain's salary, whichever is greater, is designated as his or her housing allowance.
(14) Vending stands.
Establish and maintain a revolving fund not exceeding $60,000 in any of the state institutions administered by the department, for the education, recreation and convenience of the patients, inmates and employees, to be used for the operation of vending stands, canteen operations, reading clubs, musical organizations, religious programs, athletics and similar projects. The funds are exempt from s. 20.906
, but are subject to audit by the department and the legislative audit bureau in its discretion.
Pursuant to its rules the department may, with the approval of the governor and the director of personnel, provide employees in its institutions with laundry, food, housing and necessary furnishings.
(17) Purchase of care and services.
Be empowered to contract with public or voluntary agencies or others:
To purchase in full or in part care and services which it is authorized by any statute to provide as an alternative to providing such care and services itself.
To purchase or provide in full or in part the care and services which county agencies may provide or purchase under any statute and to sell to county agencies such portions thereof as the county agency may desire to purchase.
To sell services, under contract, which the department is authorized to provide by statute, to any federally recognized tribal governing body.
(18) Uniform fee schedule, liability and collections. 46.03(18)(a)(a)
Except as provided in s. 46.10 (14) (b)
, the department of health and family services shall establish a uniform system of fees for services provided or purchased by the department of health and family services, or a county department under s. 46.215
, except for services provided under subch. III of ch. 49
; services relating to adoption; services provided to courts; outreach, information and referral services; or where, as determined by the department of health and family services, a fee is administratively unfeasible or would significantly prevent accomplishing the purpose of the service. A county department under s. 46.215
shall apply the fees which it collects under this program to cover the cost of such services. The department of health and family services shall report to the joint committee on finance no later than March 1 of each year on the number of children placed for adoption by the department of health and family services during the previous year and the costs to the state for services relating to such adoptions.
(am) Paragraph (a)
does not prevent the department from charging and collecting the cost of adoptive placement investigations and child care as authorized under s. 48.837 (7)
. Paragraph (a)
also does not prevent a county department under s. 51.42
from charging and collecting the cost of an examination ordered under s. 938.295 (2) (a)
as authorized under s. 938.295 (2) (c)
Except as provided in s. 46.10 (14) (b)
, any person receiving services provided or purchased under par. (a)
or the spouse of the person and, in the case of a minor, the parents of the person, and, in the case of a foreign child described in s. 48.839 (1)
who became dependent on public funds for his or her primary support before an order granting his or her adoption, the resident of this state appointed guardian of the child by a foreign court who brought the child into this state for the purpose of adoption, shall be liable for the services in the amount of the fee established under par. (a)
. If a minor receives services without consent of a parent or guardian under s. 51.47
, the department shall base the fee solely on the minor's ability to pay.
The department shall make collections from the person who in the opinion of the department is best able to pay, giving due regard to the present needs of the person or of his or her lawful dependents. The department may bring action in the name of the department to enforce the liability established under par. (b)
. The department may not collect from the parent of a minor receiving treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, except as provided in s. 51.47
. This paragraph does not apply to the recovery of fees for the care and services specified under s. 46.10
The department may compromise or waive all or part of the liability for services received. The sworn statement of the collection and deportation counsel appointed under s. 46.10 (7)
or the department secretary, shall be evidence of the services provided and the fees charged for such services.
The department may delegate to county departments under s. 46.215
and other providers of care and services the powers and duties vested in the department by pars. (c)
as it deems necessary to efficiently administer this subsection, subject to such conditions as the department deems appropriate.
Notwithstanding par. (a)
, any person who submits to an assessment or driver safety plan under s. 23.33 (13) (e)
, 30.80 (6) (d)
, 343.16 (5) (a)
, 343.30 (1q)
, 343.305 (10)
or 350.11 (3) (d)
shall pay a reasonable fee therefor to the appropriate county department under s. 51.42
or traffic safety school under s. 345.60
. A county may allow the person to pay the assessment fee in 1, 2, 3 or 4 equal installments. The fee for the driver safety plan may be reduced or waived if the person is unable to pay the complete fee, but no fee for assessment or attendance at a traffic safety school under s. 345.60
may be reduced or waived. Nonpayment of the assessment fee is noncompliance with the court order that required completion of an assessment and driver safety plan. Upon a finding that the person has the ability to pay, nonpayment of the driver safety plan fee is noncompliance with the court order that required completion of an assessment and driver safety plan.