CONTACT: Rep. Joan Ballweg, (888) 534-0041

Madison…Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan), a member of the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care, joined Governor Walker in Wausau where he signed 11 bills as part of the Foster Forward package. Representative Ballweg authored Assembly Bill 748 which provides counsel to parents involved in Child in Need of Protection and/or Services (CHIPS) proceedings.

AB 748 provides legal representation to biological parents so they have the ability to follow the Court’s orders at initial hearings and not cause delays if the case proceeds to termination of parental rights. This bill also creates a five county (Brown, Outagamie, Winnebago, Racine, and Kenosha), three year pilot program to study the value of the program for families and Wisconsin children in Foster Care.

“I am excited to have authored one of the 11 Foster Forward bills getting signed into law today,” said Ballweg. “These bills will bring real change to Wisconsin children in the Foster Care system.”

The Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care traveled across the state and held public hearings to gather feedback from foster youth, biological and foster parents, county social workers, the courts, and more.    Members then introduced policy initiatives to support children who are currently in the system, aging out of the system, and to prevent additional children from needing to enter the child welfare system.

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