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Home / Levels of Foster Care in Wisconsin

Levels of Foster Care in Wisconsin

What are the 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. Most kids and teens are served in treatment foster homes, where they receive enhanced support, structured supervision, and professional services. In addition, many younger children are part of larger sibling groups needing to stay together. As a statewide treatment foster agency with homes in 35+ counties, CCR places children at three levels. Level 2 (basic), Level 3 (treatment), and Level 4 foster care (treatment).

How is the level of care determined for foster children?

Wisconsin uses a multi-purpose assessment tool called The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS). The assessment tool provides three different results:

  • A mental health screen determines whether a child has mental health needs.
  • A level of need recommendation 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)

    Black girl 2

Every child receives a level of need score.

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

A higher level of care license means parents can care for kids with higher need levels. Contrary to rumors, these kids are NOT the "worst" or the "bad" kids. They are children that need more than what a basic county foster home can provide. They may need therapy, counseling, academic support, or more supervision. Perhaps they need to be the only or oldest child in the home. Kids may not do well with pets, or they might heal best with little ones in the house. Keep in mind we place a lot of sibling groups because county agencies struggle to place multiple kids in one home. There are many reasons kids and teens need more from a foster family.

New CCR foster parents begin fostering at the "basic" level of care (unless transferring from another agency or having previous foster care experience). However, foster parents may care for children with higher-level needs with time and additional training.

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 hours, references, and experience requirements. Each foster parent must complete training hours in accordance with their Level of Care certification. 

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. Our 30+ years of experience in treatment foster care means we have the expertise to provide outstanding support services not found at most foster agencies. When you are ready, we would love to speak with you about how to become a foster parent with us.

Level 2 Basic foster care requires 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 four references. These include two 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 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 one 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 advanced technical 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 advanced technical 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

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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Foster families are desperately needed in NW Wisconsin and the Fox Valley area.
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