Children in Residential Care Centers

A "residential care center (RCC)" [formerly called Child Caring Institutions (CCIs)] is defined as a child welfare agency licensed under s. 48.60, Wis. Stats. [115.76(4)]. The responsibilities of Wisconsin local educational agencies, counties, and state agencies for the education of children with disabilities residing in RCCs is defined in s. 115.81, Wis. Stats.

Duties of the County or State Agency

Each resident child with a disability in an RCC placement funded by a county or a state agency has a "responsible local educational agency." This agency is the local educational agency (LEA) responsible for providing a free appropriate public education to the child before placement in the RCC. However, if the child resided before RCC placement in a facility operated by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (inpatient mental health facility or a center for people with developmental disabilities) or a type 1 juvenile correctional facility operated by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, the responsible LEA is the school district where the RCC is located.

Duties of the Responsible Local Education Agency (LEA)

As part of its oversight activities, annually RCCs are required to file with the Department of Public Instruction a report, Children with Disabilities and Staff in Residential Care Centers.

The Department of Public Instruction cooperates with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to ensure children with disabilities residing in RCCs receive free appropriate public education (FAPE). DCF licensing specialists conduct onsite reviews of facility compliance, including requirements relating to educating children with disabilities in RCCs.

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