La Crosse County Human Service Department maintains an Alternate Care Unit whose primary function is to recruit, license, supervise and support foster parents. The unit consists of five full time social workers. One social worker is responsible for licensing new homes, one social worker coordinates placement activities, and the three remaining social workers provide ongoing support and assistance to the foster parents.
Click here for the Alternate Care Unit’s listing of Who to Call When.
La Crosse County Human Services Department contracts with an experienced foster parent to provide emotional support and technical assistance to foster parents.
The Foster Parent Assistance Program is a short term (up to 3 one-hour sessions) support program for foster parents. Services include consultation, counseling, emotional support and information and referral. There is no cost to the foster parent for this service. Confidentiality is protected and no personal information about a foster parent’s contact with the program will be shared with the Human Service Department.
Calls can be made to Human Development Associates at (608)784-8688. Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:00am to 5:00pm. The office is located at 2920 East Ave. S., La Crosse, WI 54601.
This monthly publication from La Crosse County’s Alternate Care Unit contains articles, information about upcoming events and trainings, introductions of newly licensed homes, a kids’ activities page, and much more. Click here to see the current or past issues.
Respite Care is meant to provide a “break” or “rest” for the primary caregivers of the foster children that are currently residing in their home. Foster parenting can be exhausting and can place stress upon members of the family. This increase in stress is especially true when the children living in the home exhibit significant behavioral and emotional needs and/or have significant physical care needs. The respite that is used by the foster family is intended to relieve stress and prevent “burnout” and thereby reduce the chance of a disruption in the child’s placement. Appropriate use of respite services are an important part of the treatment for the children in foster care because prevention of disruption also prevents further trauma to the child.
Respite care is offered to all La Crosse County foster homes that are currently caring for foster children. The base rate is a maximum of twelve days per calendar year and these days are accrued each month. Foster children that are in care for more than 30 days will be assessed for a level of care rating. If the child’s behavioral, emotional or physical care needs warrant a supplemental/exceptional rating, this rating will determine how many additional days of respite the foster family will receive per calendar year for the identified foster child.
This handbook, created by the Wisconsin Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center, is a model handbook for Wisconsin foster parents. It is intended to give basic information about foster care in Wisconsin to newly-licensed foster parents and to serve as a refresher for experienced foster parents. In it, foster parents will find an overview of the foster care program, information about what is expected of foster parents, a discussion about the care of children in foster care, and explanation of the critical need to work cooperatively with birth families, and an emphasis on the importance of foster family self care. This handbook also provides additional tools and resource lists if foster parents want to learn more about a specific topic.
Clicking here will take you to the Wisconsin Foster Care and Adoption Resource Center website where you can view the handbook.