DCF 56.08 Note
These smoke detector locations have been determined by a combination of standards found in ch. 2
-220.127.116.11 of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 72 and s. SPS 321.09
. The smoke detector at the head of an open stairway may also serve as the smoke detector for that floor of the home.
Smoke detector maintenance.
The licensee shall check the operating condition of each smoke detector at least once a month and shall immediately repair or replace any unit or part of a unit found to be inoperative. For a single-station battery-operated smoke detector, the battery shall be replaced at least once each year.
A fire extinguisher with a UL rating for A, B and C burning materials shall be available in or near the kitchen of a foster home. The foster parent shall know how to operate the fire extinguisher. Licensing agencies may also require a fire extinguisher near the sleeping areas of the home.
The licensee shall develop a written plan for the immediate and safe evacuation of the foster home in the event of a fire. The plan shall include the following:
The means to be used for emergency exiting from all floor levels of the foster home.
The place away from the foster home at which all evacuated members of the household will meet so that it can be determined if all persons are out of danger.
The means by which foster children who are not ambulatory will be assisted in evacuating the home.
The licensee shall review the fire safety evacuation plan with all household members at least once every 3 months and immediately following placement of a new foster child in the licensee's home.
The fire safety evacuation plan shall be posted in the home and its location made known to all household members.
At least once every 2 years the licensing agency shall review the fire safety evacuation plan with the licensee and the licensee shall revise the plan if the licensing agency determines it is necessary.
Fire safety inspection.
If required by the licensing agency, a foster parent shall arrange for a fire safety inspection by fire safety experts at any time there is cause for concern for the safety of household residents because of conditions in the foster home or elsewhere on the premises.
Effective February 1, 2011, a foster home in a one- or two-unit building shall have a functional carbon monoxide detector installed in the basement and on each floor level, except the attic, garage, or storage area of each unit, in accordance with the requirements of s. 101.647
DCF 56.08 Note
Note: A one-unit building is a single family residence. A two-unit building is a duplex or two-flat.
A foster home in a building with at least 3 units shall have one or more functional carbon monoxide detectors installed in accordance with the requirements of s. 101.149
The licensee shall report by no later than the end of the next working day to the licensing agency any fire in the foster home or elsewhere on the premises that requires the assistance of the fire department.
Each licensed foster home shall file a disaster plan with the licensing agency that would allow the licensing agency to identify, locate, and ensure continuity of services to children under the placement and care responsibility or supervision of an agency who are displaced or adversely affected by a disaster. Disaster plans shall include all of the following information:
Where a family, provider, or child would go in an evacuation, including one location in the nearby area and one location out of the area.
Phone numbers, electronic mail addresses, and other contact information for the foster parent.
Contact information for a relative or friend out of the area who will know where the family is located.
A list of items that the licensee will take if evacuated, including any medication and medical equipment for the child.
A phone number the licensee will call to check in with the licensing agency or caseworker.
Safety of infants and children with disabilities. DCF 56.08(11)(a)
A licensing agency may impose additional safety conditions upon a licensee if the licensee cares for a child under one year of age or a child with mental or physical disabilities when the age, impaired judgment, or mobility of the child creates additional safety risks.
A licensing agency may require modifications to a foster home or other accommodations necessary to meet specific requirements identified by the child's team or treatment team. These modifications may include any of the following:
Electrical back-up systems that will provide a reliable level of power in the event of an electrical system failure.
Adequate mechanisms for the safe and legal storage and disposal of medical supplies.
Minimum and maximum standards for heating and cooling temperatures within the home.
Structural or cosmetic changes to allow the child access into and throughout the home.
Mechanisms for ensuring that hot water temperatures from bathtub, sink, shower, and other bathroom fixtures do not exceed a maximum safe temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mechanisms for measuring and achieving established air purity standards in the home.
Other modifications to accommodate needs identified by the child's team or treatment team.
Any additional conditions imposed under par. (a)
shall be in writing and reviewed jointly by the licensing agency and licensee before taking effect.
The licensing agency and licensee shall review the conditions under par. (a)
for possible revision at least annually.
DCF 56.08 Note
A licensing agency may use an exceptional payment under s. DCF 56.23 (3)
to pay for any necessary adjustments to the foster home to meet the special needs of a foster child.
Each stairway shall have a handrail.
DCF 56.08 History
History: CR 00-020
: cr. Register February 2002 No. 554
, eff. 3-1-02; EmR0937
: emerg. r. and recr. (4) (b) and (c), am. (5) (b), cr. (10m), eff. 1-1-10; CR 10-021
: r. and recr. (4) (b) and (c), am. (5) (b), cr. (9m) and (10m) Register September 2010 No. 657
, eff. 10-1-10; EmR1050
: emerg. am. (8) (a) 2., cr. (8) (a) 3., r. and recr. (11), eff. 1-1-11; CR 10-148
: am. (8) (a) 2., cr. (8) (a) 3., r. and recr. (11) Register August 2011 No. 668
, eff. 9-1-11; CR 10-021
transcription error in (5) (b) corrected Register December 2015 No. 720
: emerg. am. (4) (a), (5) (c) 1., r. and recr. (5) (c) 2., am. (6) (a), r. (6) (b), eff. 11-18-16; CR 16-051
: am. (4) (a), (5) (c) 1., r. and recr. (5) (c) 2., am. (6) (a), r. (6) (b) Register July 2017 No. 739
, eff. 8-1-17; CR 21-107: am. (6) (c) 1. Register June 2022 No. 798, eff. 7-1-22.
Principles for nurturing care.
The foster parent shall provide nurturing care to each child placed in a foster home. Nurturing care is care that does all of the following:
Ensures that the child is provided a humane physical and psychological environment.
Socializes the child into family living and teaches social and community living skills, including accepting tasks and responsibilities.
Increases the child's opportunities to develop decision-making skills and to make informed choices.
Gives the child room to grow and the maximum of personal and physical freedom appropriate to the child's age and maturity.
Increases the child's independence in performing tasks and activities by teaching skills that reduce dependence on caretakers.
Does not deny a foster child access to confidential family planning and reproductive health services.
Educates the child regarding human sexual development, as appropriate.
Does not discriminate against the child because of the child's race or cultural identification, sex, age, sexual orientation, color, creed, ancestry, national origin or disability.
Promotes cultural understanding and sensitivity in the child and respects the cultural traditions of the child's family.
Lets the child participate in community activities of the child's choice, including sports and activities of school, community, social and religious groups, with this participation restricted only by reasonable curfew hours, cost considerations, a court order or for a reason agreed upon by the foster parent and the licensing and supervising agencies.
Increases the child's opportunities to interact with diverse community populations.
Gives the child reasonable opportunity to voluntarily participate or not participate in religious practices, activities, and services of the child's choice or the choice of the child's parents. Any discrepancy between the child's choice and the choice of the child's parents shall be resolved by the child's caseworker.
Teaches the child life skills in situations where the skills are used.
Allows a foster parent to conduct a search without the foster child's consent if the foster parent believes a search is necessary to prevent harm to the foster child or another person or because the foster child is violating a law. The foster parent shall share the information about the search with the child's supervising agency caseworker.
Provides daily schedules, routines, environments, and interactions similar to those of other children of the same age and in accordance with the child's case plan, permanency plan, or treatment plan.
Lets a child keep and wear the child's own clothing as appropriate to the season or setting unless the clothing is too small for the child, is prohibited by the child's case manager, or is otherwise unsuitable for wear.
DCF 56.09 Note
Note: An example of clothing unsuitable for wear is clothing infested with lice.
Permits a child to receive mail, to make and to receive a reasonable number of telephone calls and to visit with family, friends and others unless a visit is contraindicated by the child's case plan, by a court order or by another controlling document.
Does not inflict or tolerate infliction of physical or verbal abuse, physical punishment, ill treatment or harsh or humiliating discipline of the child.
Does not require a child to perform labor that financially benefits the foster parent without the child's agreement, approval of the child's parent or guardian and approval of the supervising agency.
Allows the child access to clothing and written and recorded materials and other items appropriate to the child's age and comprehension. None of these materials may be permanently withheld from the child without the specific consent of the child's caseworker. Any withheld material shall be given to the child's caseworker who shall determine whether the material should be returned to the child or given to the child's parent or guardian. A foster child's personal belongings may not be damaged or destroyed.
DCF 56.09 Note
Note: The primary intent of par. (m) is to allow a foster child to have clothes, books, recorded music, and similar items that the child enjoys. If a foster parent does not wish to have certain types of materials in the foster home, the foster parent should communicate that in writing to the licensing agency.
Does not permit a child to be mechanically restrained or locked or confined in any enclosure, room, closet or other part of the house or premises for any reason, except as provided under sub. (5) (i)
A foster parent may not use any type of physical restraint on a foster child unless the foster child's behavior presents an imminent danger of harm to self or others and physical restraint is necessary to contain the risk and keep the foster child and others safe.
A foster parent shall attempt other feasible alternatives to de-escalate a child and situation before using physical restraint.
A foster parent may not use physical restraint as disciplinary action, for the convenience of the foster parent, or for therapeutic purposes.
If physical restraint is necessary under par. (a)
, a foster parent may only use the physical restraint in the following manner:
With the least amount of force necessary and in the least restrictive manner to manage the imminent danger of harm to self or others.
That lasts only for the duration of time that there is an imminent danger of harm to self or others.
Any maneuver or technique that does not give adequate attention and care to protection of the child's head.
Any maneuver that places pressure or weight on the child's chest, lungs, sternum, diaphragm, back, or abdomen causing chest compression.
Any maneuver that places pressure, weight, or leverage on the neck or throat, on any artery, or on the back of the child's head or neck, or that otherwise obstructs or restricts the circulation of blood or obstructs an airway, such as straddling or sitting on the child's torso.
Any technique that uses pain inducement to obtain compliance or control, including punching, hitting, hyperextension of joints, or extended use of pressure points for pain compliance.
Any technique that involves pushing on or into a child's mouth, nose, or eyes, or covering the child's face or body with anything, including soft objects, such as pillows, washcloths, blankets, and bedding.
Notwithstanding subd. 3. f.
, if a child is biting himself or herself or other persons, a foster parent may use a finger in a vibrating motion to stimulate the child's upper lip and cause the child's mouth to open and may lean into the bite with the least amount of force necessary to open the child's jaw.
A foster parent shall report the use of any physical restraint to the licensing agency as soon as possible after the imminent danger has been resolved but no later than 24 hours after the use of any physical restraint. Information shall include a description of the situation that led to the use of restraint, the nature of the restraint that was used, any follow-up actions that were taken, any injuries that may have resulted from use of the restraint, and any additional information required by the licensing agency.
Number of children for whom care may be provided. DCF 56.09(1m)(a)(a)
Care and maintenance may be provided for no more than 4 children in a foster home.
(b) Sibling connections.
Notwithstanding par. (a)
, for the purpose of maintaining sibling connections, a licensing agency may grant an exception to allow 7 or fewer foster children in a foster home. A licensing agency shall apply to the department exceptions panel to place 8 or more children in a foster home if necessary to keep siblings together. The licensing agency shall follow the requirements established under s. DCF 56.02 (2)
when granting or requesting an exception under this paragraph and shall modify the license to reflect a reduction in the number of foster children in the home if any of the children leave.