Child Protective Services
Efforts are directed toward preserving the unity of families when possible through assisting parents in better understanding and fulfilling their responsibilities. A coordinated service team approach to providing assistance, connecting families with community resources, partner agencies, and natural supports, is encouraged.
Services include investigation of reports of abuse and neglect as well as service coordination and child protection intervention when reports are substantiated. In some instances, children may receive foster care or kinship care arranged by the Department while safety issues in their natural homes are addressed. Efforts in such instances are extended toward reuniting families when possible and achieving permanence for children always.
The Family Support Program is a Brown County Human Services internal program created to work directly with Child Protective Services clients. Our program is an intensive level program designed for families referred for parenting education and support via Child Protective Services. Our program addresses and implements strategies, techniques, and tools to assist parents in reducing abusive and neglectful behavior in order to help improve parenting skills, increase self-sufficiency, and enhance protective capacities.
Brown County Foster Care works with foster families to provide a temporary alternative to a child’s biological home when that home becomes socially, emotionally, or physically inadequate for the child’s needs. Foster children range in age from infant to 21; however, the greatest needs are for sibling groups of 3 or more, youth with special needs, and teenagers. It is an expectation that foster parents work with birth parents. All foster children have unique backgrounds, experiences, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Many of them have been victims of physical or sexual abuse, some have suffered neglect, and some children and infants require extensive medical care.
Brown County Family Center
Brown County Child Protective Services is vested with the responsibility to make determinations on a daily basis as to whether a child is safe or unsafe in their home. When children are found to be unsafe we are required to work with the family to rectify the conditions that lead to the unsafe circumstance while shielding the child from danger. The Brown County Family Center is a safe, home like setting for children and their parents to meet and spend time together. The Family Center is staffed by Brown County Case Managers and Family Support Specialists along with the help of volunteers and interns. When staffing the Family Center, the workers role is to provide an emotionally safe and secure environment for visits to occur. All staff, volunteers and interns are trained on how to monitor visits, including when to intervene, and on emergency situations and procedures.
Shelter Care is a non-secure facility owned and operated through Brown County and licensed through the State of Wisconsin. Residents range in age from 10-17 years old. The Shelter accommodates up to 18 youth at one time, and houses both males and females. To be placed at Shelter Care, the youth must be found eligible by Juvenile Court or a Juvenile Intake Worker. We are unable to accept private pay or volunteer youth.
Volunteer Services: Pals and Parent Pals and other supporting programs
The mission of Brown County Health & Human Services Department’s Volunteer Services is to support the Community Programs Division including: Child Protective Services, Foster Care, Youth Justice, Children’s Long Term Care, Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit, Shelter Care and Adult Protective Services. The Volunteer Services Unit programs include:
The Pals Program started in 1973 as a service of Brown County Health and Human Services Department. The Pals Program matches children who are referred by Child Protective Services with and adult volunteer, couple, or family. The children on the Pals waiting list are ages 3 and older. We have a lengthy waiting list of boys and girls who need mentors to serve as positive role models. Volunteer mentor help children adjust to the separation or loss of a parent, enhance self-esteem and confidence and learn new skills.
Parent Pals Program
The volunteer will spend time with parents and possibly their families from Brown County Health & Human Services Department building rapport, developing new skills and learning activities to empower the family to live and function in a safe and healthy manner. The Parent Pals mentor will provide long term support to parents that are open to making changes in their household and personal lives so they no longer need Child Protective Services involvement. Achieving parent / family sustainability without further agency involvement is the goal.
Family Interaction Volunteers
Supervising court ordered visits of children in out of home care.
Legal decision makers for adults found to be mentally incompetent.
Provide transportation for children to and from visits and other appointments.
Bachelors and Masters Students throughout the Health & Human Services Department.
The juvenile court system attempts to rehabilitate youth through the use of various interventions and services. Many of these services focus on the family. The court system can assist families in understanding their issues and in contacting appropriate services for help.
Brown County’s Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Unit serves children, youth, and families who need more comprehensive or intensive services beyond traditional psychotherapy services available at outpatient clinics in the community. We provide case management, psychotherapy, and facilitate access to a variety of other community based services and supports for those who qualify. Families must meet eligibility criteria and most of our programs require a referral. The majority of referrals we accept come from Child Protective Services, Juvenile Justice, inpatient hospitals, and the Crisis Center. Our Coordinated Services Team (CST) program accepts referrals from a wider range of sources including schools and health care providers.