DLTC Memo Series 2008-09
Date: April 28, 2008
For: Area Administrators / Human Services Area Coordinators
County Department of Community Program Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
County Waiver Coordinators
County DD Coordinators
From: Sinikka Santala
Subject: Family Support Program wait list policy change requirement
Counties are required to develop Family Support Program (FSP)
wait list policy pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 20, the 2007-2009 biennial
budget bill. Counties must develop their policy in writing no later than
May 31, 2008 and submit it to BLTS Children's Services Section. The
policies must be effective starting July 1, 2008.
Wisconsin Statute 46.985 (2) (f) directs county departments to establish
criteria for priority of services that take into account urgency of need,
statewide consistency, developmental impact on eligible children and other
factors, so as to ensure that all available funds are used consistently
Family Support Program (FSP) funds are used by families of children
with severe disabilities to purchase allowable goods or services not
funded through other sources that will enable the child to reside with
his/her parent(s), reduce stress in the family and avoid out-of-home
placement. Use of these funds must be in accordance with the purposes and
requirements set forth in Family Support Program Guidelines and Wis.
Administrative Code, Chapter HFS 65.
Setting Priorities for Available Funding
The administering agency are required to allocate available funding to
families who meet eligibility requirements under Wis. Administrative Code,
Chapter HFS 65.04 on a first come, first served basis, except that
counties must take into account urgency of need and crisis need
situations. Families determined to meet urgency and crisis need criteria
must be moved to the top of the FSP waiting list regardless of the date
the child was determined to meet all eligibility criteria and the child's
name was placed on the FSP wait list for funding. In addition, crisis
funds must also be reserved to ensure the provision of goods and services
to families in the event of a crisis situation that may occur throughout
the calendar year if funding is available.
Urgent need may be defined as follows:
- Families in crisis situations
- Families considering out-of-home placement
- Families planning to bring a child home from an out-of-home
- Families who have in-home health and safety concerns
- Children who have one time urgent developmental needs that must be
met in a time frame that will exceed the expected FSP wait list
duration and cannot be met by another funding source.
The administering agency must develop criteria and procedures for
determining if a family is in crisis and the extent of their need. The
agency must prioritize the waiting list for these crisis situations based
on the severity of need and other factors so that families most in need
can be served first with limited funding dollars.
The administering agency should request assistance and advice from the
local Family Support Advisory Committee in developing criteria which will
be used to determine whether a family is in crisis. The advisory committee
should also advise the administering agency regarding the criteria and
method for prioritizing needs of children on the waiting list. Once the
administering agency, with advice from the local advisory committee,
develops waiting list policies, including procedures for determining how
to prioritize needs, making one-time only purchases, and other issues that
may arise, the policies must be written and included in the annual Family
Support Program County Plan or as an addendum to the 2008 FSP Annual Plan
no later than May 31, 2008.
As part of the agency's wait list policy, the administering agency must
identify how the Service Coordinators will evaluate significant changes in
the child and family's needs to assure these children's names are on the
FSP waiting list if they meet the criteria.
Two examples of these evaluation efforts are:
Annual assessment by the service coordinator to determine the needs of the
family and child.
Families are informed by the service coordinator regarding how and when to
notify the administering agency of any significant changes with the
child's condition or the family's circumstances.
Staff will review the criteria as submitted and approve or modify
in conjunction with the administrating agency as needed by June 30, 2008.
The new criteria for urgent or crisis needs will become effective for all
funding decisions beginning July 1, 2008.
The Children's Services Section in the Bureau of Long-Term Support is
available to support counties as needed in developing and implementing the
new Family Support wait list requirements.
To summarize, as related to the Family Support Program, a county must:
- Develop FSP policies and procedures for prioritizing the FSP wait
list based on crisis and urgency of need.
- Identify outreach efforts that will assist in determining that
families on the FSP wait list who meet these criteria have access to
- Develop procedures for annual assessments to assist in determining
urgency of need.
- Submit all policies and procedures to the Children's Services
Section as part of the FSP Annual Plan for review no later than May
- Submit all policies and procedures electronically to Julie Bryda by
May 31, 2008 at email@example.com
and your assigned CSS.
- Implement the policies and procedures beginning July 1, 2008
REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT: Regional Children's Waiver Specialists
CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT: Julie Bryda, Program and Policy Analyst
MEMO WEB SITE: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/dsl_info/
cc: DLTC Children' Service Section (CSS)
DLTC Community Integration Program (CIP)
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