Dear Friends,

Now that the weather is finally getting warmer in Wisconsin, we all know that means it’s construction season. You probably are already encountering many road projects that are affecting your drives. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation's website has updates on all of the current projects and future projects. One click can save you time and headaches on your next trip. 

May is foster care month. It's a time to celebrate and honor the families who welcome kids into their homes. Often those families get the call in the middle of the night without much notice. At any given time, there are approximately 7,000 children in out-of-home care in Wisconsin. Helping make sure foster kids get the care they need and foster parents are supported is very important to me. You can read about some of the foster care laws I authored below.

As always, if you have any concerns or ideas on how to improve our great state, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at 608-266-5830 or by email at

On, Wisconsin!
May is Foster Care Month
To celebrate Foster Care Month, foster kids created a mural and display in the State Capitol to promote sibling connections. Foster care is an important issue for me.
For many years, I have worked to promote stability and better outcomes for foster youth. I've worked with experts to encourage adoption and permanent placements for kids, as well as provide the tools for trauma-informed care. 
Trauma-informed care shifts our perspective from "what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you?” Adverse childhood experiences are a measure of trauma an individual has experienced. About 60 percent of Wisconsinites report at least one adverse childhood experience. The trauma children experience influences their learning, health, and behavior. Former Wisconsin First Lady, Tonette Walker, and I served on the Fostering Futures Policy Advisory Council. The Council has helped advance trauma-informed care in treatment in the child welfare system and is leading to more positive outcomes.

Here are some of the foster care laws I have authored
  • 2021 WI Act 42: Created qualified residential treatment programs in Wisconsin to transform our out-of-home care system to promote placement with family units but still maintain high needs options for youth.  
  • 2019 Wisconsin Act 92: Provided additional adoption assistance grants to families who adopted sibling groups. The goal of the bill was to encourage permanent placements, help families adopt children, and of course, keep siblings together through the adoption process. 
  • 2017 WI Act 259: Allowed foster parents to consent to standard dental care. Removed barriers to access to dental care for foster kids. Removed obstacles for foster families to care for their kids. Continues to promote better health outcomes for kids. 
  • 2017 WI Act 257: Altered the foster care licensing system to reduce red tape, making it easier for foster parents to renew their licenses and allow licensing across county lines. 
  • 2017 WI Act 256: Streamlined the adoption process by reforming the termination of parental rights provisions. Ensured better outcomes and fewer changes in placements for foster kids. 
  • 2017 WI Act 252: Allowed the limited release of mental health information about foster youth to their out-of-home care providers. Enabled foster parents to provide the best mental health care for their kids and promote trauma-informed households. 
  • 2015 WI Act 161: Allowed caseworkers to view foster kids’ educational records. Also ensured that when a foster child was placed into a new home, they would remain in their current school to avoid disruption to their education.

I will continue to work to make sure every child in the foster care system has access to stable and eventually, permanent, safe placements.
Around the 8th...