Register July 2021 No. 783
Chapter DCF 54
Organization and administration.
Records, inspections, and reports.
Ch. DCF 54 Note
Chapter HSS 54 was renumbered chapter HFS 54 under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 1., Stats., and corrections made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 6. and 7., Stats., Register, June, 1999, No. 522
. Chapter HFS 54 was renumbered to chapter DCF 54 under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 1., Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635
The purpose of this chapter is to protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of children in the care of child-placing agencies and to establish the administrative rate that a child-placing agency may charge for services for foster homes with a Level 3 or 4 certification.
This chapter applies to all child-placing agencies.
Exceptions to rules.
The department may make exceptions to any provision of this chapter that is not a statutory requirement if the department is assured that granting such exceptions is not detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of children. A request for an exception shall be in writing, justify the reason for requesting an exception, and describe an alternative that meets the intent of the requirement.
Compliance with administrative rules and laws.
A person who is licensed under this chapter shall operate the agency in compliance with this chapter, the provisions of the license, and applicable state, federal, and local law.
“Administrative rate" means the difference between the rate charged by a child-placing agency to a Wisconsin public purchaser of services for a foster home with a Level 3 or 4 certification and the rate determined under s. DCF 56.23
that is paid by the child-placing agency to the foster parent for the care and maintenance of a child placed in the foster home.
DCF 54.01 Note
Note: A purchaser of services may pay a foster parent for the care and maintenance of a child directly.
“Board of directors" means the policy-making body which governs a child welfare agency.
“Child" means a person who is under 21 years of age and is under juvenile court jurisdiction or other court order, is being provided services by a child welfare agency, or is placed under an agreement.
“Child custody proceedings" has the meaning prescribed in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 USC 1903
(1), and as provided in that act includes foster care placements, termination of parental right proceedings, pre-adoptive placements and adoptive placements.
“Child-placing agency" means a child welfare agency licensed to place children in licensed family foster homes and licensed group homes.
“Child welfare agency" means any person required to be licensed under s. 48.60
“County department" or “county" means a county department of social services under s. 46.215
, Stats.; a county department of human services under s. 46.23
, Stats.; or a county department under s. 51.42
“Department" means the department of children and families.
“Division" means the department's division of safety and permanence.
“Guardian" means the person or agency appointed by a court to make major decisions affecting a child which may include consent to marriage, to enlistment in the armed forces, to major surgery and to adoption, or to manage the estate of a minor.
“Indian child" has the meaning prescribed in 25 USC 1903
(4), namely, any unmarried person who is under age 18 and is either a member of an Indian tribe or eligible for membership in an Indian tribe and is the biological child of a member of an Indian tribe.
“Indian tribe" means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians recognized as eligible for the services provided to Indians by the U.S. secretary of the interior because of their status as Indians.
“Legal custodian" means the person or agency to whom a court has transferred a child's legal custody, and who thereby has the right and duty to protect, train and discipline the child and to provide for the child's care needs. “Legal custody" has the meaning prescribed in s. 48.02 (12)
“Wisconsin public purchaser" means a county department, the department, or the Wisconsin department of corrections.
DCF 54.01 History
Cr. Register, September, 1982, No. 321
, eff. 10-1-82; am. (4) (c), Register, December, 1983, No. 336
, eff. 1-1-84; emerg. renum. (4) (c) to (h) to be (4) (d) to (h) and (k), cr. (4) (c), (i) and (j), eff. 9-5-92; renum. (4) (c) to (h) to be (4) (d) to (h) and (k), cr. (4) (c), (i) and (j), Register, May, 1993, No. 449
, eff. 6-1-93; CR 04-040
: cr. (3m) Register December 2004 No. 588
, eff. 1-1-05; corrections in (4) (f) and (g) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 6.
, Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635
: emerg. am. (1), (3), renum. (4) (a) to be (4) (am), cr. (4) (a), (gm), eff. 9-16-11; CR 11-026
: am. (1), (3), renum. (4) (a) to be (4) (am), cr. (4) (a), (em), (gm), (L) Register December 2011 No. 672
, eff. 1-1-12; EmR1414
: emerg. r. and recr. (4) (b), eff. 8-1-14; CR 14-054
: r. and recr. (4) (b) Register April 2015 No. 712
, eff. 5-1-15.
Organization and administration. DCF 54.02(1)(1)
Every child welfare agency shall be incorporated. Any agency incorporated outside of Wisconsin shall secure authorization from the secretary of state to do business in Wisconsin.
Every agency shall be governed by a board of directors which is responsible for the operation of the agency according to its defined purposes.
If the agency is incorporated in another state, the board of directors shall:
Meet in Wisconsin at least once during the period for which the license is issued, or
Have a subcommittee of at least 3 Wisconsin residents one of whom shall be a member of the board. This subcommittee shall be responsible to the board of directors to see that board policies are carried out and that there is adherence to licensing rules.
When requested, the board, or its subcommittee if it is in the category covered by par. (b) 2.
, shall meet with its licensing representative.
Define its responsibilities. These responsibilities shall include:
The establishment of policies to be followed by the agency and regular planned review of policies and purposes of the agency to determine that the interests of children are being served.
Surveillance that the agency does not discriminate in its personnel practices, intake and services on the basis of race, color and national origin.
The exercise of trusteeship for property, investment and protection from liability.
Approval of the budget and responsibility for obtaining and disbursing of funds.
Employment of a qualified executive and delegation to that executive the responsibility for the administration of the agency and the employment of other staff members.
Meet at least semiannually and keep minutes of each meeting which shall be made a part of the permanent records of the agency.
Consult with the department prior to the establishment of a new agency or the changing of a basic program of care of an existing agency or the extension of service into additional program or geographic areas.
Notify the department when there is a change in the executive of the agency and/or the chief officer of the board.
Notify the department of any major changes pending or occurring in the corporate structure, organization or administration of the agency.
The board shall submit to the department an application to operate an agency in a form prescribed by the department for a license. The application shall be signed by the chief officer of the board and the agency executive. It shall not operate the agency until it receives such a license.
DCF 54.02 Note
An application form may be obtained from the department's website at http://dcf.wisconsin.gov
or by writing or telephoning any field office listed in Appendix A.
If the board is applying for a license for the first time the application shall be submitted at least 60 days prior to the date on which it proposes to begin operation.
The following material shall accompany the first application for a license:
A copy of the articles of incorporation and if existent, a copy of the constitution and by-laws.
Evidence of the availability of funds to carry the agency through the first year of operation.
A statement of purpose which includes a description of the geographic area to be served, the types of children to be accepted for care, the services to be provided and the program objectives.
A general description of each type of position proposed for the agency.
A proposed organization chart insuring that there will be staff in number and qualifications for the scope of the agency services.
A list of board members including the addresses of the officers of the board.
A proposed per client administrative rate that the child-placing agency will charge for services for foster homes with a Level 3 or 4 certification in the current year and a proposed budget with the same cost categories as the department's cost and service report under s. DCF 54.09 (1) (a)
Subsequent applications shall be submitted to the department:
At least 30 days prior to the continuation date of the current license.