Birth to 3 Program - IDEA Complaint

Any individual or organization may file a complaint with the Department of Health Services (DHS) if they believe a public agency (county Birth to 3 Program) has violated state requirements under Administrative Code DHS 90 or federal requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) when providing early intervention services. The party filing the complaint must forward a copy of the complaint to the Birth to 3 Program serving the child at the same time the party files the complaint with DHS.

Complaints must be in writing and must be signed. They also must include:

  • A statement that a public agency has violated early intervention law.
  • The facts on which the statement is based.
  • The contact information for the complainant.
  • If the complaint alleges violations with respect to a specific child--
    • the name of the child;
    • the child's residence address;
    • the name of the Birth to 3 Program the child participates in;
    • a description of the nature of the problem, including facts relating to the problem; and
    • a proposed resolution of the problem to the extent known and available to the party at the time the complaint is filed.

The Department must provide the Birth to 3 Program with the opportunity to respond to the complaint by proposing a resolution of the complaint and by agreeing with the parent who filed the complaint to voluntarily engage in mediation.

The Department must investigate a complaint and issue a written decision within 60 days of receiving it. The Department can take longer than 60 days if exceptional circumstances exist, such as the parent and Birth to 3 Program agreeing to an extension in order to participate in mediation. If, as a result of its investigation of the complaint, the Department finds that the Birth to 3 Program has violated requirements relating to early intervention, the Birth to 3 Program will be required to develop and implement a plan to correct the violations.

The Department has developed a IDEA State Complaint Form for complainants to use, though they are not required to use it.

The copy of a complaint which is sent to the Department should be sent to:

Part C Coordinator/Birth to 3 Program
Department of Health Services
Division of Medicaid Services
1 West Wilson Street
PO Box 7851
Madison, WI 53707-7851
608-327-0237 (fax)

For more information about filing a complaint, please contact the service coordinator at your county Birth to 3 Program or Lori Wittemann from the state Birth to 3 Program at 608-267-5150.

Decisions made based upon complaints received by the Birth to 3 Program are posted per the DHS complaint process.

Last Revised: January 31, 2018