The increased incidences of heroin, opioid and methamphetamine use across the state is having negative consequences on the state’s most vulnerable citizens – young children. County human services departments are seeing increased out-of-home placement costs as parents struggling with addiction are unable to safely care for their children.

The #WIChildWelfareCrisis is staggering, with the opioid/meth problem profoundly impacting the youngest victims, as well as the ability of counties to deliver these services in light of huge caseload increases.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@wiscounties) and Facebook for the latest updates. If posting on this issue, please use #WIChildWelfareCrisis.

On January 14, WisconsinEye Senior Producer Steve Walters sat down with #WisCounties Mark O’Connell, La Crosse County Human Services Director Jason Witt, and Portage County Child Welfare Supervisor Teresa Kovach to discuss these issues in a program.


The January 2019 issue of Wisconsin Counties explores a system in crisis – namely Wisconsin’s child protective services.

The voices of our caseworkers are center stage in this issue to drive home the critical need for action from those who confront this crisis each day.

To view the articles from the January 2019 issue of Wisconsin Counties, click here.

Your Story

County social workers, please share your experiences and the challenges you facing on the job in light of current caseload increases. We will share these letters with Governor Evers and the Legislature.