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2011 - 2012 LEGISLATURE
February 21, 2012 - Introduced by Senator Lazich, cosponsored by Representatives
Kerkman, Grigsby, Loudenbeck and Spanbauer. Referred to Committee on
Public Health, Human Services, and Revenue.
SB502,3,7 1An Act to renumber and amend 48.355 (2b), 48.38 (1) (b), 48.38 (4) (fm),
2938.355 (2b), 938.38 (1) (b) and 938.38 (4) (fm); to amend 48.028 (4) (g) 1. d.,
348.07 (5) (c), 48.21 (5) (d), 48.235 (4) (a) 1., 48.235 (4) (a) 2., 48.235 (4m) (a) 1.,
448.235 (4m) (a) 2., 48.236 (3) (b), 48.299 (4) (b), 48.315 (2m) (b), 48.32 (1) (b) 1.
5c., 48.32 (1) (c), 48.33 (4) (a), 48.33 (4) (c), 48.335 (3g) (c), 48.335 (4), 48.355 (2)
6(b) 5., 48.355 (2) (b) 6., 48.355 (2b) (title), 48.355 (2c) (b), 48.355 (2d) (b) (intro.),
748.355 (2d) (c), 48.355 (2e) (title), 48.355 (2e) (a), 48.355 (2e) (b), 48.355 (2e) (c),
848.356 (1), 48.357 (1) (am) 1., 48.357 (1) (c) 1., 48.357 (2v) (c), 48.363 (1) (a),
948.365 (2g) (b) 2., 48.365 (2g) (b) 3., 48.365 (2m) (a) 1., 48.365 (2m) (a) 1m.,
1048.365 (2m) (a) 3., 48.365 (2m) (ad), 48.365 (7), 48.371 (1) (a), 48.371 (1) (b),
1148.371 (3) (intro.), 48.371 (4), 48.371 (5), subchapter VII (title) of chapter 48
12[precedes 48.38], 48.38 (title), 48.38 (1) (am), 48.38 (2) (intro.), 48.38 (3), 48.38
13(4) (intro.), 48.38 (4) (ar), 48.38 (4) (br) 2., 48.38 (4) (f) 3., 48.38 (4) (fg) (intro.),
1448.38 (4) (fg) 5., 48.38 (4) (i), 48.38 (4m) (title), 48.38 (4m) (a), 48.38 (4m) (c),

148.38 (5) (a), 48.38 (5) (ag), 48.38 (5) (am), 48.38 (5) (bm) 2., 48.38 (5) (c) 2., 48.38
2(5) (c) 5., 48.38 (5) (c) 6. (intro.), 48.38 (5) (c) 6. d., 48.38 (5) (c) 7., 48.38 (5) (d),
348.38 (5m) (title), 48.38 (5m) (a), 48.38 (5m) (b), 48.38 (5m) (c) 2., 48.38 (5m) (d),
448.38 (5m) (e), 48.38 (5m) (f), 48.38 (6) (a), 48.38 (6) (d), 48.417 (1) (a), 48.417
5(2) (b), 48.417 (2) (c), 48.417 (2) (cm), 48.425 (1) (c), 48.43 (1) (c), 48.43 (1) (cm),
648.43 (2) (b), 48.43 (5) (a), 48.43 (5) (b) 1., 48.43 (5) (b) 2., 48.43 (5) (c), 48.43 (5m),
748.63 (4), 48.63 (5) (c), 48.63 (5) (d) 1., 48.63 (5) (d) 2., 48.63 (5) (d) 3., 48.63 (5)
8(d) 4., 48.63 (5) (d) 6., 48.831 (4) (e), 48.834 (1), 48.834 (2), 48.977 (3r), 48.977
9(4) (e), 48.977 (4) (i), 49.471 (4) (a) 4. a., 49.471 (4) (b) 4. a., 146.82 (2) (a) 18m.,
10252.15 (3m) (d) 15., 757.69 (1) (g) 14., 767.41 (3) (b), 767.41 (3) (c), 808.075 (4)
11(a) 8., 808.075 (4) (fn) 8., 938.028 (4) (f) 1. d., 938.21 (5) (d), 938.235 (4) (a) 1.,
12938.235 (4) (a) 2., 938.315 (2m) (b), 938.32 (1) (c) 1. c., 938.32 (1) (d), 938.33 (4)
13(a), 938.33 (4) (c), 938.335 (3g) (c), 938.335 (4), 938.355 (2) (b) 5., 938.355 (2) (b)
146., 938.355 (2b) (title), 938.355 (2c) (b), 938.355 (2d) (b) (intro.), 938.355 (2d) (c),
15938.355 (2e) (title), 938.355 (2e) (a), 938.355 (2e) (b), 938.355 (2e) (c), 938.356
16(1), 938.357 (1) (am) 1., 938.357 (1) (c) 1., 938.357 (2v) (c), 938.363 (1) (a),
17938.365 (2g) (b) 2., 938.365 (2g) (b) 3., 938.365 (2m) (a) 1., 938.365 (2m) (a) 1m.,
18938.365 (2m) (a) 3., 938.365 (2m) (ad), 938.365 (7), 938.371 (1) (a), 938.371 (1)
19(b), 938.371 (3) (intro.), 938.371 (4), 938.371 (5), subchapter VII (title) of chapter
20938 [precedes 938.38], 938.38 (title), 938.38 (1) (am), 938.38 (2) (intro.), 938.38
21(3) (intro.), 938.38 (3) (a), 938.38 (3) (b), 938.38 (4) (intro.), 938.38 (4) (ar), 938.38
22(4) (br) 2., 938.38 (4) (f) 3., 938.38 (4) (fg) (intro.), 938.38 (4) (fg) 5., 938.38 (4)
23(i), 938.38 (4m) (title), 938.38 (4m) (a), 938.38 (4m) (c), 938.38 (5) (a), 938.38 (5)
24(ag), 938.38 (5) (am), 938.38 (5) (bm) 2., 938.38 (5) (c) 2., 938.38 (5) (c) 5., 938.38
25(5) (c) 6. (intro.), 938.38 (5) (c) 6. d., 938.38 (5) (c) 7., 938.38 (5) (d), 938.38 (5m)

1(title), 938.38 (5m) (a), 938.38 (5m) (b), 938.38 (5m) (c) 2., 938.38 (5m) (d), 938.38
2(5m) (e), 938.38 (5m) (f), 938.38 (6) (a) and 938.38 (6) (d); and to create 48.355
3(2b) (a), 48.358, 48.38 (4) (fm) 1., 48.38 (5) (c) 6m., 938.355 (2b) (a), 938.358,
4938.38 (4) (fm) 1. and 938.38 (5) (c) 6m. of the statutes; relating to: case
5planning for a child placed in out-of-home care, including concurrent
6permanency goals, trial reunifications, and planned permanent living
7arrangements for such a child.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Introduction
Under current law, for each child living in an out-of-home placement, the
county department of human services or social services, the licensed child welfare
agency, or the Department of Children and Families (DCF) that placed the child or
arranged the placement of the child or the agency assigned primary responsibility
for providing services to the child (collectively "agency") must prepare a permanency
plan for the child. A permanency plan must describe, among other things, the goal
or goals of the permanency plan, with those goals being either the safe return of the
child to his or her home or placement of the child for adoption, with a guardian, with
a fit and willing relative, or in some other alternative permanent placement, such as
sustaining care, independent living, or long-term foster care.
This bill changes the term "permanency plan" to "case plan" and makes certain
other changes relating to case planning for a child placed in out-of-home care,
including changes relating to: 1) concurrent planning; 2) trial reunifications; and 3)
planned permanent living arrangements, for such a child.
Concurrent planning
Under current law, an agency, at the same time as the agency is making
reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of a child from his or her home or to make
it possible for the child to return home, may work with an adoption agency in making
reasonable efforts to place the child for adoption, with a guardian, with a fit and
willing relative, or in some other alternative permanent placement (concurrent
reasonable efforts). If an agency is making concurrent reasonable efforts, the child's
permanency plan must include the goals of the permanency plan.
This bill eliminates the authority of an agency to make concurrent reasonable
efforts and instead permits an agency to engage in concurrent planning, which the
bill defines as reasonable efforts to work simultaneously towards achieving more
than one permanency goal for a child. Under the bill, an agency must determine, in
accordance with standards established by DCF (concurrent planning standards)
whether to engage in concurrent planning. If, according to the concurrent planning

standards, concurrent planning is required, the agency must engage in concurrent
planning and the juvenile court must make a finding as to whether the agency has
made reasonable efforts to achieve the primary goal of the concurrent plan. If an
agency determines to engage in concurrent planning for a child, the child's case plan
must include the rationale for that determination and a description of the concurrent
plan and the primary and concurrent goals of the concurrent plan. In addition, if a
child's case plan calls for concurrent planning, the court assigned to exercise
jurisdiction under the Children's Code and the Juvenile Justice Code (juvenile court)
or a case plan review panel appointed by the juvenile court, in reviewing the child's
case plan, must determine the appropriateness, in light of the concurrent planning
standards, of each of the permanency goals of the concurrent plan and, if the juvenile
court or case plan review panel does not approve of any one or more of those goals,
that court or panel must include in its determinations the reasons for that
disapproval.
Trial reunifications
Current law — changes in placement. Under current law, the juvenile
court, on the request of the person or agency primarily responsible for implementing
a dispositional order, of the juvenile court, may order a change in placement for a
child placed outside of his or her home under a dispositional order of the juvenile
court. The juvenile court may order the change in placement without a hearing,
unless a party receiving the notice files an objection. Current law also permits the
person or agency primarily responsible for implementing the dispositional order to
make an emergency change in placement if emergency conditions necessitate an
immediate change in placement.
The bill — trial reunifications. This bill provides a similar procedure under
which the juvenile court may order a trial reunification, which the bill defines as a
return of a child who is placed in an out-of-home placement to the home of his or her
parent or other home from which the child was removed for a specified and limited
period for the purpose of determining the appropriateness of permanently returning
the child to that home. The bill, however, does not permit an emergency trial
reunification. Under the bill, if an emergency condition necessitates an immediate
return of a child to the home of his or her parent or other home from which the child
was removed, the person or agency primarily responsible for implementing the
dispositional order must make an emergency change in placement as provided under
current law.
Under the bill, the juvenile court may order a trial reunification on the request
of the person or agency primarily responsible for implementing the dispositional
order, or on its own motion. Notice of the proposed trial reunification must 1) be
provided to the child, the parent, guardian, and legal custodian of the child, any
foster parent or other physical custodian of the child, the child's court-appointed
special advocate, all parties who are bound by the dispositional order, and, in the case
of an Indian child, the Indian child's Indian custodian and tribe; and 2) contain a
statement describing why the trial reunification is in the best interests of the child
and a statement describing how the trial reunification satisfies the objectives of the

child's case plan. The juvenile court may order the trial reunification without a
hearing, unless a party receiving the notice files an objection.
If the juvenile court finds that the trial reunification is in the best interests of
the child and that the trial reunification satisfies the objectives of the child's case
plan, the juvenile court must grant an order authorizing the trial reunification. A
trial reunification terminates 90 days after the date of the order, unless the juvenile
court specifies a shorter period in the order, extends the trial reunification, or
revokes the trial reunification or the person or agency primarily responsible for
implementing the dispositional order makes an emergency change in placement. At
the end of a trial reunification, the person or agency primarily responsible for
implementing the dispositional order may return the child to an out-of-home
placement without further order of the juvenile court or may request the juvenile
court to order a change in placement changing the placement of the child to the home
or his or her parent or other home from which the child was removed.
The bill also permits the person or agency primarily responsible for
implementing the dispositional order to request an extension of the trial
reunification. The request must contain a statement describing how the trial
reunification continues to be in the best interests of the child and continues to meet
the objectives of the child's case plan, and the same notice and hearing requirements
that apply to an original request for a trial reunification also apply to a request for
an extension of a trial reunification. If the juvenile court finds that the trial
reunification continues to be in the best interests of the child and continues to meet
the objectives of the child's case plan, the juvenile court must grant an order
extending the trial reunification for a period specified by the juvenile court not to
exceed 60 days. Any number of extensions may be granted, but the total period for
a trial reunification may not exceed 150 days.
In addition, the bill permits the person or agency primarily responsible for
implementing the dispositional order to request the juvenile court to revoke a trial
reunification if that person or agency has reasonable cause to suspect that a child
who has been returned to the home of his or her parent or other home from which the
child was removed for a trial reunification has been abused or neglected, has reason
to believe that such a child has been threatened with abuse or neglect and that abuse
or neglect of the child is likely to occur, or otherwise has reason to believe that the
trial reunification is no longer in the best interest of the child. The revocation request
must state the reasons for the proposed revocation, and the same notice and hearing
requirements that apply to an original request for a trial reunification also apply to
a request for a revocation of a trial reunification. If the juvenile court finds that the
child, while returned to the home of his or her parent or other home from which the
child was removed for a trial reunification, has been abused or neglected, or has been
threatened with abuse or neglect and that abuse or neglect of the child is likely to
occur, or finds that the trial reunification is no longer in the best interests of the child,
the juvenile court must grant an order revoking the trial reunification and returning
the child to an out-of-home placement.
Finally, with respect to trial reunifications, the bill permits the person or
agency primarily responsible or implementing the dispositional order to make an

emergency change in placement if emergency conditions necessitate an immediate
removal of the child from the home of his or her parent or other home from which the
child has been removed.
Other planned permanent living arrangement
Under current law, if a goal of a child's permanency plan is an alternative
permanent placement, the permanency plan must document a compelling reason
why it would not be in the best interests of the child to pursue the safe return of the
child to his or her home or placement of the child for adoption, with a guardian, or
with a fit and willing relative.
This bill changes the term "alternative permanent placement" to "other
planned permanent living arrangement,", requires the arrangement to include a
long-term relationship between the child and an adult, and eliminates independent
living as a planned permanent living arrangement option. The bill also permits a
child's case plan to include the permanency goal of placement of the child in a
planned permanent living arrangement only if the agency determines that there is
a compelling reason why it would not be in the best interests of the child to pursue
the safe return of the child to his or her home or placement of the child for adoption,
with a guardian, or with a fit and willing relative. If an agency makes that
determination, the child's case plan must include 1) a concurrent plan towards
achieving the permanency goal of safely returning the child to his or her home or
placing the child for adoption, with a guardian, or with a fit and willing relative as
well as the permanency goal of placing the child in some other planned permanent
living arrangement; and 2) the compelling reason why it would not be in the best
interests of the child to return the child to his or her home or to place the child for
adoption, with a guardian, or with a fit and willing relative and the efforts made to
achieve that goal, including, if appropriate, through an out-of-state placement.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB502, s. 1 1Section 1. 48.028 (4) (g) 1. d. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB502,6,62 48.028 (4) (g) 1. d. Arrangements were made to provide natural and
3unsupervised family interaction in the most natural setting that can ensure the
4Indian child's safety, as appropriate to the goals of the Indian child's permanency
5case plan, including arrangements for transportation and other assistance to enable
6family members to participate in that interaction.
SB502, s. 2
1Section 2. 48.07 (5) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB502,7,122 48.07 (5) (c) Training. A court-appointed special advocate program shall
3require a volunteer or employee of the program selected under par. (b) to complete
4a training program before the volunteer or employee may be designated as a
5court-appointed special advocate under s. 48.236 (1). The training program shall
6include instruction on recognizing child abuse and neglect, cultural competency, as
7defined in s. 48.982 (1) (bm), child development, the procedures of the court,
8permanency case planning, the activities of a court-appointed special advocate
9under s. 48.236 (3) and information gathering and documentation, and shall include
10observation of a proceeding under s. 48.13. A court-appointed special advocate
11program shall also require each volunteer and employee of the program selected
12under par. (b) to complete continuing training annually.
SB502, s. 3 13Section 3. 48.21 (5) (d) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB502,7,1814 48.21 (5) (d) If the judge or circuit court commissioner finds that any of the
15circumstances specified in s. 48.355 (2d) (b) 1. to 5. applies with respect to a parent,
16the judge or circuit court commissioner shall hold a hearing under s. 48.38 (4m)
17within 30 days after the date of that finding to determine the permanency case plan
18for the child.
SB502, s. 4 19Section 4. 48.235 (4) (a) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB502,7,2120 48.235 (4) (a) 1. Participate in permanency case planning under ss. 48.38 and
2148.43 (5).
SB502, s. 5 22Section 5. 48.235 (4) (a) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB502,7,2423 48.235 (4) (a) 2. Petition for a change in placement under s. 48.357 or a trial
24reunification under s. 48.358
.
SB502, s. 6 25Section 6. 48.235 (4m) (a) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB502,8,2
148.235 (4m) (a) 1. Participate in permanency case planning under ss. 48.38 and
248.43 (5) after the child is born.
SB502, s. 7 3Section 7. 48.235 (4m) (a) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB502,8,54 48.235 (4m) (a) 2. Petition for a change in placement under s. 48.357 or a trial
5reunification under s. 48.358
.
SB502, s. 8 6Section 8. 48.236 (3) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB502,8,157 48.236 (3) (b) Maintain regular contact with the child for whom the designation
8is made; monitor the appropriateness and safety of the environment of the child, the
9extent to which the child and the child's family are complying with any consent
10decree or dispositional order of the court and with any permanency case plan under
11s. 48.38, and the extent to which any agency that is required to provide services for
12the child and the child's family under a consent decree, dispositional order or
13permanency case plan is providing those services; and, based on that regular contact
14and monitoring, provide information to the court in the form of written reports or, if
15requested by the court, oral testimony.
SB502, s. 9 16Section 9. 48.299 (4) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB502,9,617 48.299 (4) (b) Except as provided in s. 901.05, neither common law nor
18statutory rules of evidence are binding at a hearing for a child held in custody under
19s. 48.21, a hearing for an adult expectant mother held in custody under s. 48.213, a
20runaway home hearing under s. 48.227 (4), a dispositional hearing, or a hearing
21about changes in placement, trial reunifications, revision of dispositional orders,
22extension of dispositional orders, or termination of guardianship orders entered
23under s. 48.977 (4) (h) 2. or (6) or 48.978 (2) (j) 2. or (3) (g). At those hearings, the court
24shall admit all testimony having reasonable probative value, but shall exclude
25immaterial, irrelevant, or unduly repetitious testimony or evidence that is

1inadmissible under s. 901.05. Hearsay evidence may be admitted if it has
2demonstrable circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness. The court shall give
3effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law. The court shall apply the basic
4principles of relevancy, materiality, and probative value to proof of all questions of
5fact. Objections to evidentiary offers and offers of proof of evidence not admitted may
6be made and shall be noted in the record.
SB502, s. 10 7Section 10. 48.315 (2m) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB502,9,138 48.315 (2m) (b) The court making an initial finding under s. 48.38 (5m) that
9the agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child has made
10reasonable efforts to achieve the goals of the child's permanency case plan more than
1112 months after the date on which the child was removed from the home or making
12any subsequent findings under s. 48.38 (5m) as to those reasonable efforts more than
1312 months after the date of a previous finding as to those reasonable efforts.
SB502, s. 11 14Section 11. 48.32 (1) (b) 1. c. of the statutes is amended to read:
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