Bills to Improve State Foster Care System to Get Assembly Attention

Late last month, the Task Force on Foster Care established in June by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) released a package of 13 draft bills intended to improve Wisconsin’s foster care system.  The “Foster Forward” package is the result of six public hearings across the state and addresses four policy goals: Prevention Efforts, Improving the Child Welfare System, Support for Foster Care Providers, and Support for Foster Care Youth.

Several of those proposed bills are aimed at encouraging more families to sign up as foster parents, while other measures focus on preventing children from entering the foster care system. Speaker Vos says he aims for the full Assembly to take the package of bills up in January.

One of those draft bills, LRB 4582 would change requirements for notifying schools in the process of placing a child in out-of-home care.  It adds the child’s school to the list of entities that receive notice of the review or hearing on the child’s proposed permanency plan and that may have the opportunity to submit written comments to the court on the proposed plan, but may not otherwise participate in the review or appear at the hearing.  As of this writing the bill has not yet been introduced.  When it is introduced it will receive a bill number.

The 13-member task force, made up of eight Republican and five Democratic members, was chaired by state Reps. Patrick Snyder (R-Schofield) and Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska).