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Wisconsin Caregiver Law

Question: Does the Wisconsin Caregiver Law apply to my organization? If so, what do we need to do to comply?

Response & Analysis:

The current Wisconsin Caregiver Law (the “WCL”) requires background and criminal history checks of certain personnel who are responsible for the care, safety and security of children and adults. It also prohibits all entities regulated, licensed or certified by or registered with the Department of Health Services (“DHS”) under chapters 48 and 50 of the Wisconsin Statutes (an “Entity”) from employing or contracting with any individual who has been convicted of certain crimes, or permitting such individual to reside at the Entity. To ensure compliance with this restriction, an affected Entity must have on file the results of the caregiver background check (the “CBC”) for all current and prospective employees and contractors who provide direct care or who have access to clients or patients in that facility.

The following employers/care provider Entities (each, a “Covered Entity”) are required to conduct CBCs pursuant to the WCL:
  • Treatment Foster Care, Family Child Care Centers, Group Child Care Centers, Residential Care Centers for Children and Youth, Child Placing Agencies, Day Camps for Children, Family Foster Homes for Children, Group Homes for Children, Shelter Care Facilities for Children and Certified Family Child Care;
  • Emergency Mental Health Service Programs, Mental Health Day Treatment Services for Children, Community Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, AODA Services, Community Support Programs, Community Based Residential Facilities, Three–Four Bed Adult Family Homes, Residential Care Apartment Complexes, Ambulance Service Providers, Hospitals, Rural Medical Centers, Hospices, Nursing Homes, Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled and Home Health Agencies — including those that provide personal care services; and
  • Child Care Providers contracted through Local School Boards.

Covered Entities are required to conduct CBCs on the following persons:
  • Anyone employed by or contracting with a Covered Entity who has access to the clients served, except if the access is infrequent or sporadic and service is not directly related to care of the client;
  • Anyone who is a Child Care Provider who contracts with a School Board under Wisconsin Statute 120.13 (14);
  • Anyone who lives on the premises of a Covered Entity and is age 10 or older, but is not a client;
  • Anyone who is licensed by DHS;
  • Anyone who has a foster home licensed by DHS;
  • Anyone certified by DHS;
  • Anyone who is a Child Care Provider certified by a county department;
  • Anyone registered by DHS; and
  • Anyone who is a board member or corporate officer who has access to the clients served.

The WCL process entails having an applicant complete the Background Informa¬tion Disclosure form (F-82064A) (“BID”) prior to conducting a background check. The BID form does not need to be submitted to any state agency, but must be maintained by the employer and readily available for review upon request. The BID form and CBC process must be completed at the time of hire and every four years thereafter, provided, however, that the employer/care provider may conduct a check at any time within the four-year period that it considers appropriate.

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This document and/or presentation is provided as a service to our customers. Its contents are designed solely for informational purposes, and should not be inferred or understood as legal advice or binding case law, nor shared with any third parties. Persons in need of legal assistance should seek the advice of competent legal counsel. Although care has been taken in preparation of these materials, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of the information contained within it. Anyone using this information does so at his or her own risk.

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