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.
Subsequent applications shall be sent with the following materials:
Copies of the annual reports published since the last license was issued.
The budget for the current fiscal year and the most recent financial audit.
A list of the current members of the board of directors and its committees.
The number, names, qualifications and classifications of current staff.
A description of any program review and evaluation and changes in program content and purpose which have occurred since the last license was issued.
If the expiring license is provisional, a statement showing whether the requirements on which a provisional license was based have been met, or if not, plans for meeting them.
A copy of any revisions of personnel practices that have been made since the last license was issued.
Upon the request of the department, a copy of the current staff development and in-service training plan.
Within 60 days after receiving a complete application for a child-placing agency license, the department shall either approve the application and issue a license or deny the application. If the application for a license is denied, the department shall give the applicant reasons, in writing, for the denial.
Pursuant to s. 48.60
, Stats., before the department may issue or continue a license under par. (em)
, the department shall review the need for additional placement resources that would be made available by licensing or continuing the license of any child welfare agency after August 5, 1973, providing care under s. 48.61 (3)
, Stats. If the department's review fails to indicate the need for additional placement resources neither the department nor the department of corrections may make any placements to any child welfare agency.
A written amendment to the license shall be secured from the department by the board of directors prior to any changes in the conditions of the current license.
When a license is granted, the board shall display the certificate of license in a prominent place in the agency.
The department may deny, revoke or suspend a license, initiate other enforcement actions specified in this chapter or in ch. 48
, Stats., or place conditions on a license if the applicant or licensee, a proposed or current employee, a volunteer or any other person having regular contact with the children, has or has been any of the following:
The subject of a pending criminal charge for an action that substantially relates to the care of children or activities of the center.
Convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or other offense that substantially relates to the care of children or activities of the center.
Determined to have abused or neglected a child pursuant to s. 48.981
, Stats., or has been determined to have committed an offense which substantially relates to the care of children or the activities of the center.
The subject of a court finding that the person has abandoned his or her child, or has inflicted physical abuse or neglect on the child.
Had a child welfare agency, group home or shelter care facility license revoked or denied within the last 5 years.
Violated any provision of this chapter or ch. 48
, Stats., or fails to meet the minimum requirements of this chapter.
Any person aggrieved by the department's decision to deny a license or to revoke a license may request a hearing on the decision under s. 227.44