• July/August 2014
  • Vol. 15, No. 7

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Youth Credit Preservation in Wisconsin

The Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act requires that children in foster care receive copies of their consumer credit reports and assistance interpreting and resolving inaccuracies in the report. The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) recently issued a memo to its State child welfare workforce providing direction on these requirements. The memo outlines the agency's process for obtaining information on youths’ credit records and identifies State-developed resources that workers can use in helping youth to resolve credit report inaccuracies.

The memo notes that DCF is working to establish data-sharing agreements with each of the major credit reporting agencies (CRAs) in order to diminish the difficulties associated with obtaining credit reports for minor children under the care of the State. These agreements will allow credit reports for all children in out-of-home care to be shared electronically between DCF and the CRAs on an annual basis, eliminating the need for agencies to obtain consents or court orders to obtain information.

Under proposed data-sharing agreements, all existing credit reports will be forwarded to a youth's Independent Living Coordinator, who will work collaboratively with the child to verify and remediate any existing anomalies. The correspondence provides staff with internally developed resources on steps that need to be taken by the agency to assist youth with correcting any errors. The State will also host a webinar to provide additional technical assistance for staff in implementing the new Federal requirement.

The memo is available on the website for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families:

http://dcf.wisconsin.gov/memos/num_memos/DSP/2013/2013-04.pdf (22 KB)

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