Alert! This chapter may be affected by an emergency rule:
DCF 56.07(4)(a)1.1. Each foster child shall be provided with a separate bed, except 2 related children of the same sex over the age of one and under 12 years of age may share a double or larger bed.
DCF 56.07(4)(a)1m. 1m. Each infant child, birth to 12 months of age, shall sleep alone in a crib, bassinet, or playpen.
DCF 56.07(4)(a)2. 2. Each crib shall have crib slats that are securely fastened in place and are spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. The mattress shall fit snugly so that there are no more than 1½ inches between the edge of the mattress and crib side. Crib sheets shall fit snugly to the mattress. Blankets used to cover the child shall be tucked tightly under the mattress and shall be kept away from the child's mouth and nose.
DCF 56.07(4)(a)3. 3. Each bed shall be large enough to be comfortable for the child, provide adequate body support and be equipped with a clean and comfortable mattress and with a waterproof covering when necessary. The foster child shall be provided blankets that are adequate for the season.
DCF 56.07(4)(a)4. 4. There shall be a minimum of 2 feet horizontally between beds except that between bunk beds there shall be a minimum of 5 feet.
DCF 56.07(4)(a)5. 5. For the top bed of a bunk bed, there shall be a minimum of 3 feet between the top of the mattress and the ceiling or any light or other fixture protruding from the ceiling above the bed.
DCF 56.07(4)(a)6. 6. A foster child under 4 years of age or who has a disability that limits mobility may not sleep on the top bed of a bunk bed.
DCF 56.07(4)(a)7. 7. A top bunk shall have a safety rail if occupied by a child under 8 years of age.
DCF 56.07(4)(a)8. 8. Triple-decked beds may not be used.
DCF 56.07(4)(b) (b) No foster child one year of age or older may regularly share a bedroom with an adult unless a physician determines that it is medically necessary and the licensing agency approves.
DCF 56.07(4)(c) (c) No foster child 6 years of age or older may regularly share a bedroom with another child of the opposite sex.
DCF 56.07(4)(d) (d) Each bedroom occupied by a foster child shall have a minimum floor space of 40 square feet per child, unless the licensing agency determines a higher minimum is necessary to accommodate wheelchairs or other special equipment used by a foster child.
DCF 56.07(4)(e) (e) No foster child may regularly sleep in any building, apartment or other structure on the premises which is separate from the foster home, nor may any foster child regularly sleep in an unfinished attic, an unfinished basement, a hallway or in any room normally used for purposes other than sleeping. No household member may regularly sleep in any of these places in order to accommodate the presence of the foster child.
DCF 56.07(4)(f) (f) No foster child under the age of 7 years or a child with limited mobility or functioning may regularly sleep in a finished basement bedroom or in a bedroom above the second floor of a single family dwelling.
DCF 56.07(4)(g) (g) No foster child 7 years of age or older may regularly sleep in a finished basement bedroom or in a bedroom above the second floor of a single family dwelling unless all of the following conditions are met:
DCF 56.07(4)(g)1. 1. There are 2 exits to grade from that floor level. Exits from a basement shall comply with s. SPS 321.03 (5) (b) and (6).
DCF 56.07(4)(g)2. 2. Provision has been made for adequate heating, cooling, ventilation, and humidity control.
DCF 56.07(4)(g)3. 3. Access to and exit from these locations are appropriate given the child's ambulatory level and use of mechanical devices, such as wheelchairs and walkers.
DCF 56.07(4)(h) (h) A responsible care provider shall sleep within call of foster children during the night. An exception may be granted only if the child is at least 16 years of age and the supervising agency gives its approval.
DCF 56.07(4)(i) (i) Each bedroom occupied by a foster child shall have a door for privacy, a window that allows natural light to enter, and adequate ventilation.
DCF 56.07(4)(j) (j) A sleeping room that someone must pass through to get to another part of the building may not be used for a foster child.
DCF 56.07(4)(k) (k) A foster child may not regularly sleep in a room to which access can be gained only through another occupied sleeping room.
DCF 56.07(4)(L) (L) No more than 4 children may regularly occupy one bedroom.
DCF 56.07(5) (5)Telephone.
DCF 56.07(5)(a) (a) A foster home shall have at least one operating telephone accessible to a child at all times when a child is present in the home.
DCF 56.07(5)(b) (b) Emergency telephone numbers, including fire department, police, hospital, physician, poison control center and ambulance, shall be posted by each telephone in a foster home.
DCF 56.07(5)(c) (c) A licensee shall notify the licensing and supervising agencies no later than the end of the next working day from the date that a foster home telephone number is changed.
DCF 56.07(6) (6)Heating.
DCF 56.07(6)(a) (a) A foster home shall have a heating system that is capable of maintaining a comfortable temperature of not less than 68° F., or 20° C., in living areas.
DCF 56.07(6)(b) (b) No foster home may be maintained at any time at a temperature of less than 68° F., or 20° C., during waking hours or 58° F., or 14° C., during sleeping hours unless written approval has been obtained from the licensing agency.
DCF 56.07(6)(c) (c) Unvented gas, oil or kerosene space heaters may not be used in a foster home.
DCF 56.07(6)(d)1.1. All wood-burning or other alternative heating source equipment in a foster home, except a fireplace, shall be inspected by a fire safety expert at least biennially and certified as properly installed and maintained as defined by the manufacturer's recommendations or specifications or other standards utilized by the fire safety expert. The licensee shall forward documentation of compliance with this paragraph to the licensing agency. If required by the licensing agency, a fireplace shall also be inspected by a fire safety expert.
DCF 56.07(6)(d)2. 2. In the event that a fire safety expert will not inspect or will not document an inspection of wood-burning equipment, the applicant or licensee shall permit the licensing agency to conduct an inspection of the equipment or shall provide the licensing agency with a statement from the homeowner's or renter's insurance provider confirming the provider's knowledge of the wood-burning equipment in the home.
DCF 56.07(6)(e) (e) No heating equipment may be located so that it blocks or hinders an exit from the foster home.
DCF 56.07(7) (7)Storage. The licensee shall provide enough drawer and closet space to reasonably accommodate each foster child's clothing and other personal belongings.
DCF 56.07(8) (8)Outdoor recreation and play space.
DCF 56.07(8)(a)(a) Each foster home shall have available outdoor recreation and play space either on the premises or nearby.
DCF 56.07(8)(b) (b) A licensing agency may require a licensee to erect a fence around an on-premises play area when nearby vehicle traffic, railroad tracks, a swimming pool, a lake, a pond or river or a similar hazard presents a threat to the safety of foster children.
DCF 56.07(8)(c) (c) Any outdoor porch on a first floor that is more than 4 feet above grade or on or above the second floor of a foster home shall have a railing suitably designed to safeguard foster children who may be on the porch.
DCF 56.07(9) (9)Maintenance and repair. The foster home, all other buildings and structures on the premises and all equipment and furnishings shall be maintained in a safe and proper state of repair. Broken, rundown, defective, inoperative or unsafe building parts, furnishings and equipment shall be promptly repaired, replaced or discarded.
DCF 56.07(10) (10)Sanitation.
DCF 56.07(10)(a) (a) The outside recreation and play space, furnishings, and equipment for a foster home shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
DCF 56.07(10)(b) (b) Windows that are used for ventilation shall be screened.
DCF 56.07 History History: CR 00-020: cr. Register February 2002 No. 554, eff. 3-1-02; correction in (4) (g) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register December 2003 No. 576; EmR0937: emerg. revisions as in CR 10-021, eff. 1-1-10; CR 10-021: am. (4) (a) 1., 2., (5) (a) and (6) (d) 1., cr. (4) (a) 1m. Register September 2010 No. 657, eff. 10-1-10; EmR1050: emerg. cr. (1m), (2) (b), (3) (d), renum. (2) to be (2) (a) and am., r. and recr. (4) (g), am. (4) (d), (i), (10) (a), eff. 1-1-11; CR 10-148: cr. (1m), (2) (b), (3) (d), renum. (2) to be (2) (a) and am., r. and recr. (4) (g), am. (4) (d), (i), (10) (a) Register August 2011 No. 668, eff. 9-1-11; corrections in (1m), (2) (b) intro.), (3) (d), (4) (g) 1. made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register February 2012 No. 674.
DCF 56.08 DCF 56.08 Safety.
DCF 56.08(1)(1)General requirements.
DCF 56.08(1)(a)(a) Materials and equipment that may be hazardous to children, such as power tools, flammable or combustible materials, insecticides, poisons, plastic bags, detergents, alcohol, tobacco products and medications, shall be stored in areas not readily accessible to foster children.
DCF 56.08(1)(b) (b) The licensee shall make every reasonable effort to identify and immediately correct any hazard to the safety of foster children while the children are in the foster home, on the premises or being transported.
DCF 56.08(2) (2)Electricity.
DCF 56.08(2)(a) (a) Electrical systems and appliances shall be in good repair and maintained in a manner designed to protect the safety of foster children.
DCF 56.08(2)(b) (b) A licensee caring for a foster child who is under 7 years of age shall maintain protective covers on all electrical outlets not in use.
DCF 56.08(3) (3)Household pets.
DCF 56.08(3)(a) (a) Cats, dogs and other pets vulnerable to rabies which are owned by any member of the household shall be vaccinated as required under local ordinance and documentation of the vaccinations shall be provided to the licensing agency.
DCF 56.08(3)(b) (b) Household pets known to be vicious or infected with any disease transmittable to humans may not be kept in the foster home or elsewhere on the premises.
DCF 56.08(4) (4)Transportation.
DCF 56.08(4)(a) (a) Any licensee or other person acting on behalf of the licensee who transports foster children for any purpose shall possess a valid driver's license. The licensing agency may establish additional requirements in this area by written policy, provided that the additional requirements do not prevent a foster parent from using the reasonable and prudent parent standard when making decisions concerning a child's participation in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities under s. DCF 56.09 (2m).
DCF 56.08 Note Note: For example, agencies cannot prohibit all youth from getting rides from peers or require that foster parents obtain prior agency approval for every person transporting the child.
DCF 56.08(4)(b) (b) No licensee or person acting on behalf of a licensee may transport any foster child under the age of 8 years or less than 80 pounds in weight in any private motor vehicle unless the following conditions are met, as required in s. 347.48 (4), Stats.:
DCF 56.08(4)(b)1. 1. Each child who is less than one year old or who weighs less than 20 pounds being transported in a vehicle shall be properly seated and restrained in a rear-facing individual child car safety seat in the back seat of the vehicle.
DCF 56.08(4)(b)2. 2. Each child who is at least one year old but less than 4 years old or who weighs at least 20 pounds but less than 40 pounds shall be properly restrained in a forward-facing individual child car safety seat in the back seat of the vehicle.
DCF 56.08(4)(b)3. 3. Each child who is at least 4 years old but less than 8 years old, who weighs at least 40 pounds but not more than 80 pounds, or who is 4 feet 9 inches tall or less, shall be properly restrained in a shoulder-positioning child booster seat.
DCF 56.08(4)(c) (c) Each child who is not required to be in an individual child car safety seat or booster seat when being transported shall be properly restrained by a seat belt, except as provided in s. 347.48 (2m), Stats., and ch. Trans 315.
DCF 56.08(5) (5)Firearms and other weapons.
DCF 56.08(5)(a) (a) Except as allowed under par. (d), no loaded firearm may be kept in a foster home.
DCF 56.08(5)(b) (b) No unloaded firearm or other dangerous weapon may be kept in a foster home unless stored and locked in an area not readily accessible to foster children. Ammunition materials and firearms shall be stored in separate locked areas that are not readily accessible to foster children.
DCF 56.08 Note Note: A firearm need not be locked in an area not readily accessible to foster children if the firearm has been disassembled in such a manner that it is not operable. Trigger locks alone do not meet the above requirement but may be a supplemental safety measure in addition to the firearm being stored and locked in an area not readily accessible to foster children. A weapon cabinet with a glass front is not considered secure, even if it can be locked.
DCF 56.08(5)(c) (c) A foster child may be permitted to use firearms or bows for hunting or target practice only if all of the following conditions are met:
DCF 56.08(5)(c)1. 1. The child is at least 10 years of age.
DCF 56.08(5)(c)2. 2. The foster parent applied the reasonable and prudent parent standard and gave permission for the child to participate in the activity.
DCF 56.08(5)(c)3. 3. The child has successfully completed an approved hunter education and firearm safety program under s. 29.304, Stats.
DCF 56.08(5)(c)4. 4. The child is under the supervision of a responsible adult at all times.
DCF 56.08(5)(d) (d) If the foster parent is a sworn law enforcement officer who is required to maintain a loaded weapon at all times, the loaded weapon shall be stored and locked in an area not readily accessible to foster children.
DCF 56.08(6) (6)Hazardous machinery and equipment.
DCF 56.08(6)(a)(a) No foster child under 12 years of age may, unless otherwise permitted by statute, operate any hazardous machinery or equipment.
DCF 56.08(6)(c)1.1. No foster child may operate any machinery or equipment that is beyond his or her knowledge or mental or physical capability.
DCF 56.08(6)(c)2. 2. All hazardous machinery and equipment to be used by a foster child shall be maintained in safe and proper condition.
DCF 56.08(6)(c)3. 3. The foster child shall be under the general and appropriate supervision of a responsible adult when operating a hazardous machinery or piece of equipment.
DCF 56.08(6)(c)4.a.a. The foster child shall be trained by the supervising adult on the safe and proper use and operation of any hazardous machinery or equipment before actually operating the hazardous machinery or equipment.
DCF 56.08(6)(c)4.b. b. The agency may require attendance at specific training that is applicable to an applicant's home environment, such as farm safety and logging safety.
DCF 56.08(6)(c)5. 5. The foster child shall wear clothing and safety gear appropriate to the operation of particular hazardous machinery or equipment.
DCF 56.08(7) (7)Fire protection.
DCF 56.08(7)(a) (a) Smoke detectors. A foster home shall have one or more single-station battery-operated, electrically interconnected or radio signal-emitting smoke detectors at each of the following locations in the home:
DCF 56.08(7)(a)1. 1. At the head of every open stairway.
DCF 56.08(7)(a)2. 2. On each floor of the home.
DCF 56.08(7)(a)3. 3. In each sleeping room.
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Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.