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Levels Of Wisconsin Foster Care

Wisconsin offers diffferent levels of foster care.

Levels of Care Explained

 

Levels of Care Explained

CCR serves youth in foster care with increased emotional, behavioral, or social needs due to the trauma they have experienced. These kids and teens are served in Treatment (also called Therapeutic) homes where they receive enhanced support, structured supervision, and professional services. As a statewide agency, with homes in 35+ counties, CCR places children at levels 2 (basic), 3 (treatment), and 4 (treatment).

How is level of care determined?

Wisconsin uses a multi-purpose instrument call The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) to support:

  • decision making, including Level of Need and service planning
  • to facilitate quality improvement initiatives
  • to allow for the monitoring of outcomes of services

The tool assesses a child’s needs and strengths in different areas such as: school, trauma, mental health needs, and risk behaviors.

Finally, the CANS uses algorithms to provide three different results:

  • A mental health screen, to determine whether a child has mental health needs.
  • A Level of Need, to recommend a level of placement for a child based on the identified needs and strengths.
  • A supplemental rate to be included in the foster care reimbursement (read our blog, how much are foster parents paid)

Every child is given a level of need based on their CANS score.

In turn, the child’s level of need is used in conjunction with the foster parent’s level of licensing. The goal is to provide stability in placement and promote positive outcomes.

child justin scaled

Think of it this way: The higher the number, the higher the needs of a child or teen.

A higher level of care license means you are able to care for kids with higher need levels. New CCR foster parents begin fostering at the "basic" level of care, (unless you are transferring or have previous foster care experience). With time, experience, and additional training foster parents may choose to care for children with higher-level needs.

Foster parents also have a level of care.

All foster parents are given a Level of Care certification during the foster care licensing process. The level is based on: Qualifications, training, foster parent references, and foster parent experience.

Each Level of Care certification has a specific number of training hours, personal references, and experience requirements. Each foster parent must complete training requirements in accordance with their Level of Care certification. Training requirements fall into three categories: pre-placement, initial licensing, and ongoing.

The Level of Care certification does not necessarily need to match the Level of Need of a child placed in the home. 

During the first two years, additional training is offered to obtain the knowledge and licensure to move to a higher level of care. Many CCR foster parents move up a level with time. We know our foster parents need to be supported 24/7 to be successful. Our 30+ years of experience in higher-level foster care means we have the expertise to provide outstanding support services not found at most foster agencies. We would love to speak with you about how to become a foster parent with us.

Level 2 Referred to as basic foster care requiring foster parents to provide mild to moderate care depending on child-specific needs. Level 2 also means caring for sibling groups. Foster parents must provide 4 references. These include 2 personal, one relative, and one professional. New CCR foster parents begin their fostering journey at level 2. (unless transferring or having prior experience)
Level 3 Considered moderate treatment foster care, which requires additional supervision and care for children with higher needs. Foster parents must meet 3 of the prior experience requirements:
  • A minimum of 1 year of experience as a foster parent or kinship care provider (with a child placed in the home for at least 1 year)
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience working with or parenting children
  • A minimum of 500 hours of experience as a respite care provider
  • A high school diploma or the equivalent
  • A college, vocational, or technical advanced degree in an area related to a child’s treatment needs such as nursing, medicine, social work, or psychology
  • A previous existing relationship with the child through professional or personal experience
  • Work or personal experience demonstrating the knowledge, skills, ability, and motivation to meet the needs of a child with a level of need of 3
Level 4 Considered specialized treatment foster care, structured to meet the higher needs of children, those on the autism spectrum, self-harm, sex trafficking, or youth with problematic sexual behaviors. Foster parents must meet 4 of the prior experience requirements:
  • A minimum of 1 year of experience with children who have a Level of Need of 3 as a foster parent or kinship care provider
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience working with or parenting children
  • A minimum of 500 hours of experience as a respite care provider
  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • A college, vocational, or technical advanced degree in an area related to a child’s treatment needs, such as nursing, medicine, social work, or psychology
  • A previous existing relationship with the child through professional or personal experience
  • Work or personal experience demonistrating the knowledge, skills, ability, and motivation to meet the needs of a child with a level of need of 3

Foster Care Questions & Answers

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6716 Stone Glen Dr.
Middleton, WI 53562
800.799.0450
608-827-7101
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Anyone with a flexible schedule, in any county, can be a CCR foster parent.

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