2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 48. Children's code.
48.62 Licensing of foster homes; rates.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 48.62 (2017)

48.62 Licensing of foster homes; rates.

(1) Any person who receives, with or without transfer of legal custody, 4 or fewer children or, if necessary to enable a sibling group to remain together, 6 or fewer children or, if the department promulgates rules permitting a different number of children, the number of children permitted under those rules, to provide care and maintenance for those children shall obtain a license to operate a foster home from the department, a county department or a licensed child welfare agency as provided in s. 48.75.

(2) A relative, a guardian of a child, or a person delegated care and custody of a child under s. 48.979 who provides care and maintenance for the child is not required to obtain the license specified in this section. The department, county department, or licensed child welfare agency as provided in s. 48.75 may issue a license to operate a foster home to a relative who has no duty of support under s. 49.90 (1) (a) and who requests a license to operate a foster home for a specific child who is either placed by court order or who is the subject of a voluntary placement agreement under s. 48.63. The department, a county department, or a licensed child welfare agency may, at the request of a guardian appointed under s. 48.977 or 48.978, ch. 54, or ch. 880, 2003 stats., license the guardian's home as a foster home for the guardian's minor ward who is living in the home and who is placed in the home by court order. Relatives with no duty of support and guardians appointed under s. 48.977 or 48.978, ch. 54, or ch. 880, 2003 stats., who are licensed to operate foster homes are subject to the department's licensing rules.

(3) When the department, a county department, or a child welfare agency issues a license to operate a foster home, the department, county department, or child welfare agency shall notify the clerk of the school district in which the foster home is located that a foster home has been licensed in the school district.

(4) Monthly payments in foster care shall be provided according to the rates specified in this subsection. Beginning on January 1, 2018, the rates are $238 for care and maintenance provided for a child of any age by a foster home that is certified to provide level one care, as defined in the rules promulgated under sub. (8) (a) and, 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 one care, $394 for a child under 5 years of age; $431 for a child 5 to 11 years of age; $490 for a child 12 to 14 years of age; and $511 for a child 15 years of age or over. Beginning on January 1, 2019, the rates are $244 for care and maintenance provided for a child of any age by a foster home that is certified to provide level one care, as defined in the rules promulgated under sub. (8) (a) and, 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 one care, $404 for a child under 5 years of age; $442 for a child 5 to 11 years of age; $502 for a child 12 to 14 years of age; and $524 for a child 15 years of age or over. In addition to these grants for basic maintenance, the department, county department, or licensed child welfare agency shall make supplemental payments for foster care to a foster home that is receiving an age-related rate under this subsection that are commensurate with the level of care that the foster home is certified to provide and the needs of the child who is placed in the foster home according to the rules promulgated by the department under sub. (8) (c).

NOTE: Sub. (4) is shown as amended eff. 1-1-18 by 2017 Wis. Act 59. Prior to 1-1-18 it reads:

(6) The department or a county department may recover an overpayment made under sub. (4) from a foster parent who continues to receive those payments by reducing the amount of the foster parent's monthly payment. The department may by rule specify other methods for recovering those overpayments. A county department that recovers an overpayment under this subsection due to the efforts of its officers and employees may retain a portion of the amount recovered, as provided by the department by rule.

(7) In each federal fiscal year, the department shall ensure that there are no more than 2,200 children in foster care placements for more than 24 months, consistent with the best interests of each child. Services provided in connection with this requirement shall comply with the requirements under P.L. 96-272.

(8) The department shall promulgate rules relating to foster homes as follows:

(a) Rules providing levels of care that a foster home is licensed to provide. Those levels of care shall be based on the level of knowledge, skill, training, experience, and other qualifications that are required of the licensee, the level of responsibilities that are expected of the licensee, the needs of the children who are placed with the licensee, and any other requirements relating to the ability of the licensee to provide for those needs that the department may promulgate by rule.

(b) Rules establishing a standardized assessment tool to assess the needs of a child placed or to be placed outside the home, to determine the level of care that is required to meet those needs, and to place the child in a placement that meets those needs. A foster home that is certified to provide a given level of care under par. (a) may provide foster care for any child whose needs are assessed to be at or below the level of care that the foster home is certified to provide. A foster home that is certified to provide a given level of care under par. (a) may not provide foster care for any child whose needs are assessed to be above that level of care unless the department, county department, or child welfare agency issuing the foster home license determines that support or services sufficient to meet the child's needs are in place and grants an exception to that prohibition.

(c) Rules providing monthly rates of reimbursement for foster care that are commensurate with the level of care that the foster home is licensed to provide and the needs of the child who is placed in the foster home. Those rates shall include rates for supplemental payments for special needs, exceptional circumstances, and initial clothing allowances for children placed in a foster home that is receiving an age-related monthly rate under sub. (4). In promulgating the rules under this paragraph, the department shall provide a mechanism for equalizing the amount of reimbursement received by a foster parent prior to the promulgation of those rules and the amount of reimbursement received by a foster parent under those rules so as to reduce the amount of any reimbursement that may be lost as a result of the implementation of those rules.

(d) Rules providing a monthly retainer fee for a foster home that agrees to maintain openings for emergency placements.

(9) As soon as the department is ready to implement the rules promulgated under sub. (8), the secretary shall send a notice to the legislative reference bureau for publication in the Wisconsin Administrative Register that states the date on which the provisions of 2009 Wisconsin Act 28, relating to foster care levels of care will become effective.

History: 1977 c. 354 s. 101; 1977 c. 418, 447; 1981 c. 20; 1985 a. 29 s. 3202 (23); 1985 a. 176, 281, 332, 403; 1989 a. 31, 336; 1993 a. 395 ss. 31m, 39; 1993 a. 437 s. 67; 1993 a. 446 ss. 79 to 82, 134m; 1993 a. 491; 1995 a. 275; 1997 a. 27, 334; 1999 a. 9; 2001 a. 69; 2005 a. 25, 232, 387; 2007 a. 20 ss. 810, 1322, 1323; 2009 a. 28, 71; 2011 a. 32, 87; 2013 a. 20; 2017 a. 59.

A foster child in a family owned foster home under a one-year dispositional order is a resident of the household for insurance purposes. A. G. v. Travelers Insurance Co. 112 Wis. 2d 18, 331 N.W.2d 643 (Ct. App. 1983).

Foster homes owned, operated, or contracted for by the department or a county department are immune from local zoning ordinances. Foster homes owned, operated, or contracted for by licensed child welfare agencies are not immune. All family operated foster homes are subject to local zoning. Municipal foster home licensing ordinances are unenforceable. 63 Atty. Gen. 34.

State-licensed foster homes are immune from local zoning ordinances restricting the number of unrelated occupants of single family dwellings. 66 Atty. Gen. 342.

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