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Special Committee on Permanency for Young Children in the Child Welfare System

Chair: Rep. Samantha Kerkman
Vice Chair: Sen. Mary Lazich
Legislative Council Staff:  Melissa Schmidt and Margit Kelley
Member List 

The Special Committee is directed to study current law relating to permanency for children under the age of eight who are placed or at risk of being placed outside of their home, such as in foster care, to determine whether modifications could be made to reduce the length of time it takes to achieve permanency and to improve outcomes for these children. The committee shall also determine how current law may be modified to encourage the placement of younger children with a relative as an option for permanency or support.



 Travel Voucher

Joint Legislative Council Report to the Legislature
Results of February 13, 2013 Joint Legislative Council Meeting
Recommendations to the Joint Legislative Council (February 13, 2013)

Joint Legislative Council Agenda

  • Report to the Joint Legislative Council, Special Committee on Permanency for Young Children in the Child Welfare System, LCR 2013-06.
  • WLC:  0066/1, relating to adoptions and posttermination contact agreements.
  • WLC:  0068/1, relating to the right to counsel and the right to a jury trial.
  • WLC:  0069/1, relating to proceedings for a child in need or protection or services and for an involuntary termination of parental rights.
January 30, 2013 Mail Ballot
  • WLC:  0066/1, relating to adoptions and posttermination contact agreements.
  • WLC:  0068/1, relating to the right to counsel and the right to a jury trial.
  • WLC:  0069/1, relating to proceedings for a child in need or protection or services and for an involuntary termination of parental rights.
  • Mail Ballot of the Special Committee on Permanency for Young Children in the Child Welfare System (January 30, 2013).
  • Notice of Mail Ballot.
  • Results letter.
January 24, 2013 Meeting
  • WLC: 0009/3, relating to CHIPS jurisdiction over a newborn.
  • WLC: 0010/3, relating to right to counsel for parents in CHIPS proceedings.
  • WLC: 0011/3, relating to physical, psychological, mental, or developmental examination and AODA assessment of a parent.
  • WLC: 0012/3, relating to TPR ground of continuing CHIPS.
  • WLC: 0013/3, relating to when no reasonable efforts are required.
  • WLC: 0021/2, relating to posttermination agreement.
  • WLC: 0022/2, relating to standards for parental participation.
  • WLC: 0026/1, relating to eliminating right to jury trial in CHIPS and TPR.
  • WLC: 0027/2, relating to adoption home investigations and confidentiality of change in placement and adoptive parent information.
  • WLC: 0028/1, relating to TPR participation by alleged father.
  • WLC: 0030/2, relating to CHIPS jurisdiction over a child born with alcohol or controlled substances.

  • WLC: 0031/2, relating to expedited appellate procedures for ch. 48 cases.
  • WLC: 0040/1, relating to recognizing tribal customary adoption and suspension of parental rights.
  • WLC: 0041/1, relating to adoption petitions filed by counties.
  • WLC: 0055/1, relating to revising certain TPR grounds.
  • WLC: 0063/1, relating to locating relatives.
  • Article from the Kenosha News.
  • Memo, Department Views on Family-Group Decision Making Program, from Eloise Anderson, Secretary, Department of Children and Families (December 18, 2012).
  • Letter, to Members of the Special Committee on Permanency of Young Children in the Child Welfare System, from Adam Plotkin, SPD Legislative Liaison (January 16, 2013).
  • Memo, WELFR: Expedited Appellate Procedures fo ch. 48 cases, Legislative Council Draft WLC: 0031/2, 01/18/2013 (January 10, 2013).
  • Memo, Proposed Legislation to Expedite All Wis. Stat. ch. 48 Appeals, from Jennifer Andrews, Chief Staff Attorney, Court of Appeals (December 4, 2012).
  • Memo, Suggestions Relating to WLC 0031/1, Expedited Appellate Procedures for Chapter 48 Cases, from Nancy Rottier, Legislative Liaison, Director of State Courts (December 14, 2012).
  • Memo, Comments Relating to Proposed Legislation from the Special Committee on Permanency for Young Children in the Child Welfare System, from Nancy Rottier, Legislative Liaison, Director of State Courts Office (January 18, 2013).
  • Memo, Department Positions on Bill Drafts, from Eloise Anderson, Department of Children and Families (January 23, 2013).
November 15, 2012 Meeting
  • WLC: 0008/2, relating to sibling visitation.
  • WLC: 0009/2, relating to CHIPS jurisdiction over a newborn.
  • WLC: 0010/2, relating to right to counsel for parents in CHIPS proceedings.
  • WLC: 0011/2, relating to physical, psychological, mental, or developmental examination and AODA assessment of a parent.
  • WLC: 0012/2, relating to TPR ground of continuing CHIPS.
  • WLC: 0013/2, relating to when no reasonable efforts are required.
  • WLC: 0021/1, relating to posttermination agreement.
  • WLC: 0022/1, relating to standards for parental participation.
  • WLC: 0026/1, relating to eliminating right to jury trial in CHIPS and TPR.
  • WLC: 0027/1, relating to adoption home investigations and confidentiality of change in placement and adoptive parent information.
  • WLC: 0028/1, relating to TPR participation by alleged father.
  • WLC: 0030/1, relating to CHIPS jurisdiction over a child born with alcohol or controlled substances.
  • WLC: 0031/1, relating to expedited appellate procedures for ch. 48 cases.
  • WLC: 0033/1, relating to TPR challenge based on ineffective assistance of counsel.
  • WLC: 0038/1, relating to placement with relatives.
  • WLC: 0040/1, relating to recognizing tribal customary adoption and suspension of parental rights.
  • WLC: 0041/P1, relating to adoption petitions filed by counties.
  • Memo No. 5, Proposal to Revise a Ground for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights (November 8, 2012).
  • Memo No. 6, Revising the Time When a Petition for Termination of Parental Rights Must be Filed (November 8, 2012).
  • Memo No. 7, Minnesotaís Family Group Decision Making Program and Alternative Dispute Resolution (November 7, 2012).
  • Memo No. 8, Relative Searches in Wisconsin and Minnesota (November 8, 2012).
  • Memorandum, Appellate Filings for Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) and Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) Cases, from Nancy Rottier, Legislative Liaison, Director of State Courts office (October 24, 2012).
  • Memorandum, Court and Jury Trials for Child in Need of Protection or Services (CHIPS) and Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) Cases, from Nancy Rottier, Legislative Liaison, Director of State Courts office (October 24, 2012).
  • Letter, from Adam Plotkin, Legislative Liaison, Wisconsin State Public Defenderís office, to Representative Samantha Kerkman, Chair, Special Committee on Permanency for Young Children in the Child Welfare System.
  • Letter, from Greg Benesh, Deputy Director (on behalf of the Oconto County Health and Human Services Board of Directors) (November 14, 2012).
  • Handout, from Public Member Mary Sowinski (August 16, 2006).
  • Letter, from Shel Gross, Director of Public Policy, Mental Health America of Wisconsin, and Hugh Davis, Executive Director, Wisconsin Family Ties (November 12, 2012).
  • Email, from Public Member Judge Chris Foley (November 14, 2012).
  • Report, The unpopular but crucial role of representing abusive parents ..., distributed at the request of Public Member Rändi Othrow.
  • Memo No. 4, Proposals to Revise Certain Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights (September 27, 2012).
  • WLC: 0007/1, relating to next of kin of parental homicide victim.
  • WLC: 0008/1, relating to sibling visitation.
  • WLC: 0009/1, relating to CHIPS jurisdiction over a newborn.
  • WLC: 0010/1, relating to right to counsel for parents in CHIPS proceedings.
  • WLC: 0011/1, relating to physical, psychological, mental, or developmental examination and AODA assessment of a person.
  • WLC: 0012/1, relating to TPR ground of continuing CHIPS.
  • WLC: 0013/1, relating to when no reasonable efforts are required.
  • WLC: 0014/1, relating to demand for speedy trial in criminal case.
  • Letter regarding TPR representation procedures from Adam Plotkin, Legislative Liaison, State Public Defender's office (September 27, 2012).
  • Letter regarding TPR data from Adam Plotkin, Legislative Liaison, State Public Defender's office (September 27, 2012).
  • Handout, Through the Eyes of a Child, distributed at the request of the Honorable Ramona A. Gonzalez, La Crosse County Circuit Court.
  • Handout, Arizona Court Improvement Project Five Years Later:  Final Report, a report from the National Center for Juvenile Justice (2002), distributed at the request of the Honorable Stephen M. Rubin, Emeritus, Arizona Pima County Superior Court.
  • Handout, Child Protective Services/Pima County Case Plan Summary (Non-Substance Abuse), distributed at the request of the Honorable Stephen M. Rubin, Emeritus, Arizona Pima County Superior Court.
  • Handout, Child Protective Services/Pima County Case Plan Summary (Substance Abuse), distributed at the request of the Honorable Stephen M. Rubin, Emeritus, Arizona Pima County Superior Court.
  • Handout, Departamento de Servicios de Proteccion al Menor/Tribunal de Menores del Condado de Pima Guia para el Plan del Caso (Sin Abuso de Sustancias), distributed at the request of the Honorable Stephen M. Rubin, Emeritus, Arizona Pima County Superior Court.
  • Handout, Departamento de Servicios de Proteccion al Menor/Tribunal de Menores del Condado de Pima Guia para el Plan del Caso (SAbuso de Sustancias), distributed at the request of the Honorable Stephen M. Rubin, Emeritus, Arizona Pima County Superior Court.
  • Handout, Protocol for using the Child Protective Services/Pima County Juvenile Court Case Plan Summary, distributed at the request of the Honorable Stephen M. Rubin, Emeritus, Arizona Pima County Superior Court.
September 11, 2012 Meeting
  • Memo No. 3, Options for Legislation (September 5, 2012).
  • National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Memorandum, Child Welfare Information Request, from Nina Williams-Mbengue, NCSL and Kate Bartell Nowak, NCSL Intern (August 27, 2012).
  • NCSL State Legislator Fact Sheet, Child Welfare Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration Projects 2012-2014.
  • Report, Using Yesterday to Shape Tomorrow, Uniting 500,000 Foster Youth Voices for One Mission, 2009 Foster Youth Intern Report, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
  • Handout from Susan Conwell, Executive Director, Kids Matter, Inc. (September 7, 2012).
  • Presentation, Minnesota's Permanency Progress Review Hearing, by Ann Ahlstrom, Staff Attorney and Manager, Minnesota's Children's Justice Initiative, State Court Administrator's Office and Department of Human Services.
  • To view video of the meeting provided by WisconsinEye, please click here.
July 24, 2012 Meeting
  • Memo No. 2, Termination of Parental Rights When Child is in Need of Protection or Services (July 17, 2012)
  • Presentation, Special Committee on Permanency Requested Out-of-Home Care Data, Department of Children and Families Follow-Up Presentation (July 24, 2012)
  • Presentation, Improving Child Welfare: State Legislative Experience and CFSR Key Findings, National Conference of State Legislatures (July 24, 2012).
    • Handout, Expedited Permanency and Termination of Parental Rights and Other Related Issues, by Nina Williams-Mbengue, National Conference of State Legislatures (July 2012).
  • Presentation, Permanency in the Child Welfare System, Panel Presentation by:  Melanie Deavers, Kristina Finnel, Karissa Vogel, and Christye Johnson, Mental Health America of Wisconsin.
    • Pamphlet, Strong Families Healthy Homes, prepared by Mental Health America of Wisconsin.
    • Pamphlet, Bringing Wellness Home, prepared by Mental Health America of Wisconsin.
  • Handout distributed at the request of Brent and Veronica Diller, Knapp WI (July 1, 2012).
  • Testimony from the Office of the Public Defender, Adam Plotkin, Legislative Liaison, and Diane Rondini-Harness, Assistant State Public Defender (July 24, 2012).
    • Charts distributed by the Office of the Public Defender.
  • Testimony from Rick Lockwood and Amy Herbst, Children's Service Society of Wisconsin
    • Pamphlet, Out of Home Care:  Family Finding, prepared by Childrenís Service Society of Wisconsin.
  • Handout, Family Interactions - Lutheran Social Services, prepared by Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.
  • Handout, WAFCA: Wisconsin Association of Family & children's Agencies, prepared by WAFCA.
  • Handout, Family Partnerships Initiative (FPI), prepared by Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.
  • Testimony from Colleen Ellingson, ECO, Adoption Resources of Wisconsin (July 24, 2012).
  • To view video of the meeting provided by WisconsinEye, please click here.
June 27, 2012 Meeting
  • Staff Brief 2012-01, Permanency for Children in the Child Welfare System.
  • Memo No. 1, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) Annual Report for Children in Out-of-Home Care (June 19, 2012).
    • Report, Wisconsin Children in Out-of-Home Care, Annual Report for Calendar Year 2010 (December 8, 2011), Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.
    • Appendices to the Wisconsin Children in Out-of-Home Care Annual Report (December 8, 2011).
  • Brochure, Public Member Service on Study Committees (April 2012).
  • Memorandum, Impediments to Timely Permanency for Young Children in the Child Welfare System, distributed at the request of Judge Chris Foley (June 26, 2012).
  • Presentation, Out-of-Home Care Overview, Wisconsin State Legislature, by MaryAnn Lippert, Executive Assistant, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (June 27, 2012).
  • Presentation, Improving Permanency for Children in the Child Welfare System, by Fredi-Ellen Bove, Administrator, Division of Safety and Permanence, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (June 27, 2012).
  • Handout by the Wisconsin County Human Services Association members panel:  Vicki Tylka, Marathon County; Ray Przybelski, Portage County; and Mark Mertens, Outagamie County.
  • To view video of the meeting provided by WisconsinEye, please click here.