Gov. Tony Evers today issued Emergency Order #18, suspending several administrative rules for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 while maintaining critical services the agency provides. The order can be found here.

“While good practice under regular circumstances, some requirements of the state’s programs actually increase the likelihood of exposure through additional interaction between people,” said Gov. Evers. “We have to continue to find ways to serve Wisconsinites, regardless of their circumstances, while keeping them safe and healthy.”

Emergency Order #18 gives the flexibility needed to provide the safest possible care for children in out-of-home care by allowing local agencies to make decisions about when and if services are needed for an individual child. Numerous agency rules require local agencies to take certain actions during a set window of time. Due to the heightened risk of exposure caused by additional face-to-face interactions, this flexibility allows local agencies to make decisions based on the best interest of the child.

The order also waives an in-person training deadline for new employees in W-2 agencies. Extending the deadline will ensure new W-2 staff can stay on the job, helping Wisconsinites in need of services.

“The governor has shown incredible leadership throughout our public health emergency,” said DCF Secretary Emilie Amundson. “With Governor Evers’ help, DCF continues to provide services, support, and programming that helps children, families, and communities stay safe and healthy.” 

Gov. Evers previously waived rules for DCF programs under Emergency Order #3. That order waived various requirements governing out of home care, child care, and child support programs.