Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare
Careers in Child Welfare

Are you interested in a career in child welfare? The Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare and its partners offer many opportunities for you to serve children and families in our community.

Before you apply for any position with the BMCW, please watch our 15 minute Realistic Job Preview Video. It will give you an idea of what it is like to work in the area of child welfare and the challenges you will face. After you have watched the video, please read the information below about the various positions and where you would apply.

(If you do not have a high-speed internet connection, view the Realistic Job Preview Video in lower resolution.)

Management, supervisory, office support, and other positions

Access and Initial Assessment Specialist

Extensive training prepares these Access and Initial Assessment specialists to make decisions about the safety of a child within a family setting. Since calls come in on any day at any time, staff provide after-hour coverage on a rotating basis.

Specialists assigned to the Intake unit answer a telephone hotline and conduct structured telephone interviews concerning child abuse and neglect or other concerns involving children. Since many callers ask for assistance with social needs, the Intake specialist needs to be familiar with the many community resources serving families. The Access staff enter reports into an automated information system, search historical reports, and makes recommendations for a Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare response.

Specialists assigned to Initial Assessment investigate the reported situation after it has been screened in as possible child abuse or neglect. Using a set criteria and their extensive training, IA determines whether or not there is immanent danger to the children should they remain in the home. The IA specialist removes the children if the situation is deemed unsafe and transports them to a safe home. The specialist files the necessary court documents to detain the child and attends court hearings to present the BMCW's reasons for its actions. After a thorough evaluation, the IA specialist makes referrals for case management, in-home services or to community based agencies based on the needs of families and children. (Dept. of Children and Families - BMCW)

Foster Care and Adoption Licensing Specialist

The licensing specialist conducts assessments of foster care and adoption applicants and determines licensure approval consistent with state licensing standards. The licensing specialist conducts regular home visits for existing foster homes in order to maintain quality, review compliance, and assess family and child needs. The licensing specialist develops and implements a support plan for each foster parent to address his or her needs and training needed, and helps families enhance their skill in nurturing foster children. (Apply through SaintA or to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services.)

Intensive In-Home Case Manager

The Intensive In-Home case manager provides services to keep children safe in their home and prevent out-of-home care placement. The IIH case manager provides timely responses and follows through with referrals of families who need services. They conduct weekly in-home visits to assess the safety of the children. They provide and oversee in-home services to families and children to control safety factors and prevent out-of-home removal. The case manager maintains accurate and timely documentation in case files. (Apply through SaintA or Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services.)

Ongoing Case Manager (Family Case Manager)

The Ongoing case manager provides services to children in out-of-home placement to address their safety and well-being and ensure timely reunification or adoption of each child. The Ongoing case manager has face-to-face contact with each child and conducts assessments of the needs and strengths of the family. In addition, they provide services to address barriers to reunification or permanency. When reunification cannot take place, the case manager will work with the child and adoptive family until the legal process of adoption or permanent guardianship is concluded.  The Ongoing case manager maintains accurate and timely documentation in case files of all significant case activity, documents progress to permanency being achieved, submits written reports to Children's Court and appears in court to present information during permanency hearings. (Apply through SaintA or Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services.)

Professional Development Opportunities

Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership is a partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare; Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, Division of Safety and Permanence, and the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare and its partner agencies. Its goal is to collaboratively identify and respond to the professional development needs of practicing child welfare professionals in the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. Activities include needs assessment, curriculum and instructor development, training delivery, and evaluation and performance consultation.

Contact the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare

Last Revised: May 09, 2014


The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.