The department exceptions panel shall consist of at least 3 persons who collectively are knowledgeable about the foster care program, licensing practices and any special needs of children who may be served by the applicant for an exception.
The chairperson of the panel shall be designated by the director of the department's
bureau of permanence and out-of-home care.
The panel chairperson shall designate the remaining members of the panel.
(c) Non-safety-related waiver for relatives.
The licensing agency or the department exceptions panel may grant a waiver to the following non-safety-related requirements for the relative of a child without an alternative provision to meet the intent of the requirement:
The licensing agency may grant a waiver to any requirement in s. DCF 56.04 (4) (a) 7.
, 56.05 (4)
, 56.07 (2)
, (4) (a) 1.
, or (8)
, or 56.09 (4) (g) 1.
, or (10) (b)
, or (f)
DCF 56.02 History
History: CR 00-020
: cr. Register February 2002 No. 554
, eff. 3-1-02; CR 03-033
: am. (2) (a) 1. Register December 2003 No. 576
, eff. 1-1-04; correction in (2) (a) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7.
, Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635
: emerg. am. (2) (a) 1., (b) 5., 6., 7. b., cr. (2) (c), eff. 1-1-10; CR 10-021
: am. (2) (a) 1., (b) 5., 6., 7. b., cr. (2) (c) Register September 2010 No. 657
, eff. 10-1-10; EmR1050
: emerg. am. (1), (2) (a) 1., (c) 1., eff. 1-1-11; CR 10-148
: am. (1), (2) (a) 1., (c) 1., renum. (2) (b) 6. to be (2) (b) 6. a., cr. (2) (b) 6. b. Register August 2011 No. 668
, eff. 9-1-11; EmR1633
: emerg. am. (2) (a) 1., eff. 11-18-16; CR 16-051
: am. (2) (a) 1. Register July 2017 No. 739
, eff. 8-1-17.
In this chapter:
“Aftercare plan" means a plan for transition services for a child that identifies services that will be provided after the child's discharge from a foster home to ensure continuity in the management of the child's needs.
“Age or developmentally appropriate activities” means activities that are generally accepted as suitable for children of a given chronological age or level of maturity or that are determined to be developmentally appropriate for a child based on the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities that are typical for children of a given age or age group or, in the case of a specific child, activities that are suitable for the child based on the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities of that child.
“Algorithm" means a composite score based on items demonstrated to be relevant to decision making on a particular topic such as level of need or service provision.
“Applicant" means a person who applies for a license to operate a foster home, for renewal of a license to operate a foster home or for modification of a license to operate a foster home.
“Basement" has the meaning prescribed in s. SPS 320.07 (8)
, namely, that level below the first or ground floor level with its entire floor below exit discharge grade.
“Basic maintenance payment" means a payment to reimburse a foster parent for the cost of a foster child's food, clothing, housing, basic transportation, and personal items, as follows:
For care and maintenance provided for a child of any age by a Level 1 foster home, $220.
DCF 56.03 Note
Note: Beginning on January 1, 2018, the basic maintenance payment for a child of any age in a Level 1 foster home is $238.
For care and maintenance provided by a foster home that is certified to provide care at a level of care that is higher than Level 1 care, an age-related foster care payment established by s. 48.62 (4)
“Case plan" means the service plan for the child and family, of which the permanency plan is a part.
“Child" means a person who is under 21 years of age who is placed in a foster home under juvenile court jurisdiction, other court order, or an agreement.
“Complete bathroom" means a bathroom with at least one toilet, one sink, and one tub or shower.
“County agency" means a county department of social services under s. 46.215
, Stats., or a county department of human services under s. 46.23
“Dangerous weapon" means any firearm, any device designed as a weapon and capable of producing death or great bodily harm, any electric device designed to immobilize or incapacitate persons by the use of electric current, any spray device designed to immobilize or incapacitate persons by the use of chemicals or other liquids or gases or any other device or instrument that is calculated or likely to produce death or great bodily harm.
“Department" means the Wisconsin department of children and families.
“Department exceptions panel" or “exceptions panel" means the group authorized to grant exceptions under s. DCF 56.02 (2)
to nonstatutory requirements of this chapter.
“Emergency care" means care provided for a foster child on the basis of 24-hour availability, including crisis intervention services and emergency placements.
“Family" means the birth parents, adoptive parents, relatives of the child, and other individuals who were permanently living with the child before the child's placement in out-of-home care.
“Family interaction plan” means a plan developed by a placing agency to promote a child's interaction with members of the child's family and includes interaction by face-to-face contact; telephone calls; letters; emails; and attendance at routine activities, such as counseling sessions, medical appointments, school events, and faith-related activities.
“Final substantiated finding" means all of the following:
A final determination made after January 1, 2015, that a person has abused or neglected a child under s. 48.981 (3) (c) 5m.
, Stats., and s. DCF 40.04
if the final determination has not been reversed or modified on appeal.
A determination made before January 1, 2015, that a person has abused or neglected a child under s. 48.981 (3) (c) 4.
, 2011 Stats., if the determination has not been reversed or modified on appeal.
“Foster care" means care and maintenance provided to a child in a foster home pursuant to a court order, voluntary placement agreement, or voluntary transition-to-independent-living agreement.
“Foster child" means a child placed for care and maintenance in a foster home by the department, a county agency, a licensed private child-placing agency or a court by court order, voluntary placement agreement, or voluntary transition-to-independent-living agreement.
“Foster parent" means a person with primary responsibility for the care and supervision of one or more foster children placed in his or her foster home and in whose name the foster home is licensed under this chapter.
“Group home" means a facility operated by a person licensed by the department to provide 24-hour care and maintenance for 5 to 8 children under s. 48.625
“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 and to major surgery.
“Hazardous machinery and equipment” means any machine or other equipment generally known to be dangerous to untrained or unskilled operators or to operators who for any other reason are physically or mentally unable to operate the equipment safely, including a motor vehicle, power lawn mower, tractor or other farm
machinery or equipment, snow blower, chain saw, power-driven shop tool, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, and any other machinery or equipment determined by the licensing or supervising agency.
“HealthCheck program" means a standardized preventive health check-up program for anyone under the age of 21 who has a valid Wisconsin medical assistance card.
DCF 56.03 Note
Note: A HealthCheck includes head-to-toe physical examination, immunizations, laboratory tests, eye exam, growth and development check, hearing check, mouth exam, nutrition check, health information, special teen-age health education and teen pregnancy services.
“Home-based private educational program" means a program of educational instruction provided to a child by the child's parent or guardian or by a person designated by the parent or guardian. An instruction program provided to more than one family unit does not constitute a home-based private educational program.
“Household member" means any person living in a foster home, whether or not related to the licensee.
“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 and needs. “Legal custody" has the meaning prescribed in s. 48.02 (12)
“Level of care" means the intensity of services that is best able to meet the needs of a child who has been assessed with a corresponding level of need.
“Level of need" means a rating of a child that is used to inform decision making on placement and service provision. The level of need is derived from an algorithm that is based on an assessment of a child's functioning.
“Licensed private child-placing agency" means an agency licensed by the department under s. 48.60
, Stats., and ch. DCF 54
to license a person to operate a foster home and to place children in foster homes and other out-of-home care facilities.
“Licensee" means the foster parent or foster parents in whose name or names a foster home is licensed under this chapter.
“Licensing agency" means the department, a county agency, or a licensed private child-placing agency that may issue a license to operate a foster home under this chapter.
“Living area" means the rooms of the foster home used by household members for sleeping, preparing and eating meals, bathing, toileting and indoor leisure time activities.
“Mechanical restraint" means any physical apparatus that interferes with the free movement of a person's limbs and body.
“Motor vehicle" means a private automobile, motorcycle, van, bus or truck.
“Normalcy” means the child's ability to easily engage in healthy and age or developmentally appropriate activities that promote his or her well-being, such as participation in social, scholastic, and enrichment activities.
“Nurse practitioner" means a registered nurse licensed under ch. 441
, Stats., who is currently certified as a nurse practitioner by a national certifying body that is recognized by the Wisconsin board of nursing.
“Out-of-home care" means care in a foster home, a group home under s. 48.625
, Stats., or a residential care center for children and youth under s. 48.60
“Permanency plan" means a plan required under s. 48.38 (2)
, Stats., that is designed to ensure that a child placed in out-of-home care is safely reunified with his or her family whenever appropriate, or that the child quickly attains a safe placement or home providing long-term stability.
“Physical punishment" means inflicting any kind of physical pain or discomfort on a child by means that include but are not limited to hitting, slapping, spanking, punching, shaking, kicking, biting or washing out a child's mouth with soap.
“Physician" means a person licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy under ch. 448
“Physician assistant" means a person certified under ch. 448
, Stats., to perform patient services under the supervision and direction of a physician.
“Placing agency" means a licensed private child-placing agency; county department with powers and duties under ss. 48.57
, Stats.; the department; the Wisconsin department of corrections; or a licensed child welfare agency from another state authorized to place children in foster homes.
“Premises" means the foster home and the tract of land on which it is situated, including all other buildings and structures on that land.
“Program manager" means the foster parent and licensee of a Level 5 foster home.
“Program staff" means staff in a Level 5 foster home who are responsible for daily supervision of the children and direct care to the children to ensure their safety and well-being.
“Reasonable and prudent parent standard” means a standard for use in making decisions regarding a child's participation in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities that is characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, best interests, and cultural, religious, and tribal values of the child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child.
“Residential care center for children and youth" means a residential facility licensed as a child welfare agency under s. 48.60
, Stats., and ch. DCF 52
that provides treatment and custodial services for children under 21 years of age.
“Respite care" means the services or emergency care provided to a foster child during a planned absence of the foster parent for more than 48 hours or when the licensing, supervising, or placing agency pays for the service or care.
“Responsible care provider" means a person the foster parent believes has the ability and maturity to care for a foster child for the time that the foster child will be in that person's care.
“Severe emotional disturbance" means an emotional disability that has persisted for at least 6 months and is expected to persist for a year or longer. A severely emotionally disturbed child may experience psychotic symptoms, be a suicide risk, or may cause personal injury or significant property damage or will have functional impairment in at least 2 areas, including self-care, community participation, social relationships, family relationships, and school. A severely emotionally disturbed child will be receiving services from 2 or more social services agencies. The emotional disturbance must meet one of the AXIS I diagnostic classifications of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association.
“Supervising agency" means the agency responsible for overseeing the care and maintenance of a child placed in out-of-home care, which may be a county agency, the department, or a licensed private child-placing agency.
“Team" means the group appointed by the placing and supervising agencies to assess a child, develop and implement the case and permanency plans, and evaluate the child's progress for a child with a level of need of 1 to 2 who is placed in a foster home.
“Treatment" means the combination of therapies, services, and care designed to assist a child in achieving established measurable and behavioral goals and objectives based upon the information gathered through the assessment process.
“Treatment plan" means the comprehensive services plan developed by the treatment team for a child with a level of need of 3 to 5 who is placed in a foster home with a Level 3 to 5 certification.
“Treatment team" means the group appointed by the placing and supervising agencies to assess a child, develop and implement the treatment plan, and evaluate the child's progress for a child with a level of need of 3 to 5 who is placed in a foster home with a Level 3 to 5 certification.
“Voluntary placement agreement" means a written contract between a county agency, the department, or a licensed child welfare agency, and the child's parent or guardian and the child, if the child is 12 years of age or older, for the placement of the child in a licensed foster home under s. 48.63 (1)
DCF 56.03 History
History: CR 00-020
: cr. Register February 2002 No. 554
, eff. 3-1-02; corrections in (9), (10), (24) and (37) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 6.
, Stats., Register November 2008 No. 635
: emerg. r. and recr. (3), eff. 1-1-10; CR 10-021
: r. and recr. (3) Register September 2010 No. 657
, eff. 10-1-10; EmR1050
: emerg. renum. (1) to be (1r), cr. (1), (1g), (6m), (10m), (11m), (15m), (21g), (21r), (33m), (34d), (34h), (34p), (34t), (35m), (37e), (37m), (37s), am. (3) (a), (14), (15), (22), (24), (29), (36), (38), r. and recr. (37), eff. 1-1-11; CR 10-148
: renum. (1) to be (1r), cr. (1), (1g), (6m), (10m), (11m), (15m), (21g), (21r), (33m), (34d), (34h), (34p), (34t), (35m), (37e), (37m), (37s), am. (3) (a), (14), (15), (22), (24), (29), (36), (38), r. and recr. (37) Register August 2011 No. 668
, eff. 9-1-11; corrections in (2), (11) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7.
, Stats., Register February 2012 No. 674
: emerg. r. and recr. (5), am. (12), (13), (34p), (38), cr. (39), eff. 8-1-14; CR 14-054
: r. and recr. (5), am. (12), (13), (34p), (38), cr. (39) Register April 2015 No. 712
, eff. 5-1-15; CR 16-014
: cr. (11s), (27m) Register June 2016 No. 726
, eff. 7-1-16; EmR1633
: emerg. cr. (1d), (11r), am. (17), cr. (27r), (34m), eff. 11-18-16; CR 16-051
: (1d), (11r), am. (17), cr. (27r), (34m) Register July 2017 No. 739
, eff. 8-1-17.
Any person proposing to provide foster care for children shall apply to a licensing agency for a foster home license.
Application for a foster home license shall be made on a form provided by the licensing agency.
No licensing agency may issue a license to operate a foster home to an employee of the agency or to the relative of an employee of the agency if the employee works in the area of the agency that issues foster care licenses. This subsection does not apply to a foster parent who receives a payment under s. 48.64 (4)
, Stats., or to a volunteer for the agency.
DCF 56.04 Note
Note: The intent of this requirement is to prevent possible conflicts of interest with respect to the terms of the rate paid to the foster parent, the situation that may result if an allegation of abuse or neglect is made against the foster parent, etc. The agency should consider such situations in granting a license to an employee of the agency.
Reapplication following denial or revocation.
No applicant or former licensee who, for a substantive reason, such as inappropriate discipline practices, inadequate mental health functioning or current abuse of alcohol or drugs, was denied a license or whose license was revoked may reapply for a license to any licensing agency within a period of 2 years following the effective date of license denial or revocation.
Before an applicant for an initial license may be issued a license, the applicant shall submit the following to the licensing agency:
An application form completed and signed by the applicant. Married persons living together shall both sign the application. Any household member who will act in the role of foster parent shall sign the application.
Verification of homeowner's or renter's insurance coverage required under s. DCF 56.05 (4)
or a request for a waiver under s. DCF 56.05 (5)
, and verification of vehicle liability insurance required under s. DCF 56.05 (3)
if the applicant plans to transport foster children in his or her own vehicle. Verification means that the licensing agency representative has personally seen the appropriate documentation. A licensing agency need not retain a copy of the documentation in its files.