Milwaukee Moves Closer to Reaching Final Goal of Foster Care Reform

Today, the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families’ Bureau of Performance Management released the latest report tracking the progress of the Wisconsin Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare (BMCW). The report, covering the first half of 2013, shows improvement in placement stability, the last unfulfilled Settlement Agreement requirement for foster care reform. In response, Eric Thompson, Of Counsel to Children’s Rights, released the following statement:

The BMCW turned in its best-ever performance on its remaining requirement to reform foster care, by further limiting the shuffling of children between multiple foster homes. It is encouraging that these gains have come while the Bureau is maintaining high performance levels on previously attained reform goals. Leaders must now continue to build upon the momentum and ensure all children have the stability they deserve.

Children’s Rights and co-counsel filed the federal class action known as Jeanine B. v. Walker in 1993, charging that the Milwaukee child welfare system was grossly mismanaged and failed to protect children in its care. A court-enforceable Settlement Agreement mandating an overhaul of the child welfare system was reached in 2002. State officials are continuing to implement an agreed-upon Corrective Action Plan aimed at bringing BMCW into full compliance with the requirements of the Settlement Agreement.