Child Welfare Complaint Procedure

The Department of Children and Families believes that the management of child welfare practice is best assured when a county agency reviews the decisions and actions of its staff. Handling complaints and concerns at the local level assures that managers are informed of concerns and reinforces the agency's accountability and position of responsibility in the community. Problem solving at the local level also reinforces the community's responsibility and role in supporting child safety and well-being as well as the county agency's connection to community resources.

County Departments of Human or Social Services/Community Programs are required, pursuant to Ch. HFS 94, Adm. Code, and s. 51.61, Stats., to have a county complaint procedure. If you have concerns about the county child welfare or youth services system as well for individuals with mental illness, developmental disabilities or alcohol and other drug abuse issues who are or have been receiving services through county operated or county contracted programs, you need to contact the county.  To identify the individual to contact, please refer to the child welfare county contact list.  In most instances, a complete review and investigation of complaints must occur at the local level before the Department of Children and Families, Department of Health Services, or Department of Corrections will investigate or become involved.


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