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Birth to 3 Program: Due Process Hearing

Sometimes you and the Birth to 3 Program can’t agree on the services your child should have. In that case, you have the right to ask for a due process hearing.

These hearings can help solve disputes about:

  • Eligibility
  • Evaluations
  • A proposed Individualized Family Service Plan
  • How an Individualized Family Service Plan is carried out

A due process hearing isn’t the only option. You could choose mediation instead.

A due process hearing is a formal way to settle disputes. The hearing takes place in front of a neutral decision-maker. The goal of the hearing is to help you and the county agency come to an agreement.

Ask for a hearing

You can ask for a due process hearing by sending a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). Or you can fill out a Request for a Hearing, F-22433, to send to DHS.

The request should include:

  • The name and address of your child.
  • The name of the Birth to 3 Program your child is part of.
  • An explanation of the problem.
  • Any facts relating to the problem.
  • How you would like the problem to be fixed.

You should also send a copy of the request for a due process hearing to the Birth to 3 Program that serves your child. The request must be sent at the same time it is sent to DHS.

When you ask for a hearing, DHS works with the Wisconsin Division of Hearings and Appeals. The Division of Hearings and Appeals appoints a neutral hearing officer to oversee the hearing. DHS also sends you a letter. This letter will state your rights as the parent or caregiver. It will also give you a list of free or low-cost legal services in your area.

Take part in the hearing

Next, evidence is presented by:

  • You.
  • The county.
  • Any witnesses.

You can have an attorney and advisors present.

The due process hearing doesn’t cost you any money. You only pay for any professionals that you hire to represent you. The cost of the hearing is paid for by the county Birth to 3 Program.

Get a decision

The hearing officer must issue a written decision within 30 days. It is based only on the evidence given at the hearing. You might not agree with the decision made. In that case, you may bring a civil action in state court or in a district court of the United States.

Next, DHS:

  • Shares general information of the hearing decision to the governor appointed Interagency Coordinating Council (the Birth to 3 Program's advisory board).
  • Puts this information into the Annual Performance Report.
  • Shares the information at the next Birth to 3 Program regional meetings.
  • Issues a finding of non-compliance to the county Birth to 3 Program if the hearing determined the county Birth to 3 Program has systemically been non-compliant with an IDEA Birth to 3 Program requirement.


Learn more about due process hearings. Contact the program coordinator at your county Birth to 3 Program. Or email Tara Sommersberger from DHS at

Last revised July 18, 2022