Department of Health and Human Services

Providing Youth and Families With Supervision and Support in Pursuing a Pro-social Future

My Child Has Been Arrested. What Happens Now?

The Milwaukee County DHHS Division of Youth & Family Services can walk you through the process.  

The Intake Process

The Court Process

The Final Disposition Process

How Does DYFS Help?

The Milwaukee County DHHD Division of Youth & Family Services helps youth involved in the justice system, and community safety, by providing a broad spectrum of programs and services for youth before, during and after involvement in the justice system.


Prevention/Early Intervention

DYFS services focusing on both prevention (pre-arrest) and early intervention (post-arrest, pre-disposition), including working with the whole family, are key to having at-risk youth advance into pro-social, successful adults.  

These programs and services include:

  • Capias Abatement
  • Community Accountability Panels
  • Community Connections
  • Evening Report Center (ERC)
  • In-Home GPS Monitoring
  • Juvenile Education Treatment Initiatives (JETI)
  • Shelter Care Program
  • Supervision Engagement Program (SEP)
  • Youth Employment Program
  • Youth Mentoring Program



Once a judge has reached a final decision on how best to help a youth who has gotten involved in the justice system, DYFS is there to provide interventional (post-disposition) programming to help a youth move to the next step in their life, and make it a positive one. These programs focus on the youth, and often times, provide support to the family as well. These include:

  • Alternative Sanctions Program (ASP)
  • Community Service & Restitution Coordination (CRSC)
  • FOCUS Program
  • Group Home and Foster Care
  • Level II Program with Optional GPS Monitoring
  • Restorative Justice Programs
  • Targeted Monitoring Program
  • True Aftercare Program
  • Wraparound Milwaukee
  • Youth & Family Services Network Programs



Once a youth has completed his or her intervention program, our work is not done.  Making sure youth re-enter society with the tools and abilities to avoid the circumstances that led to their initial involvement with the justice system is what keeps Milwaukee County safe, and our youth successful. 

DYFS has created a Youth Advocates team, consisting of a group of six human service workers, that supports youth who have been placed in Wisconsin Department of Corrections facilities. Their primary goals are to supervise, advocate for, and support this special population of youth and their families.

Contact DHHS Division of Youth & Family Services

Visit Us

Talk to Us

24-Hour Detention Line

(414) 257-7709

Administrative Contact

(414) 257-7721

Mark Mertens

Division of Youth & Family Services Administrator

Contact for Media Inquiries



1220 W. Vliet St.

Suite 301

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53205

Our Vision

Together, creating healthy communities.

Our Mission

Empowering safe, healthy, meaningful lives.

Our Values

Partnership, Respect, Integrity, 

Diversity, Excellence

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