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Children's Disabilities Services

Meeting the Needs of Children With Disabilities and Their Families

Building a Community of Support for Children With Disabilities and Their Families

Creating a system where children in Milwaukee County with special needs will have support and services and can flourish socially and emotionally, be active participants in their community and experience success in life.

Children's Resource and Referral Line:

(414) 289-6799



A smiling toddler

Birth to Three Program

The Birth to Three Program is for children ages birth to 2 years 9 months who are suspected of having developmental delays that may indicate the need for early intervention services. Children ages birth to three who are eligible for services have a:

  • 25% delay in one or more areas of development (behavioral, social, cognitive, speech/language or motor)
  • Atypical development that is adversely affecting the child’s overall development
  • Diagnosed condition, with a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay
  • Diagnosed hearing or vision impairment

Message From WDHS

Birth to Three Program Family Communication Published

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is committed to keeping families informed during the COVID-19 pandemic. DHS has published the Birth to Three Program Family Communication, P-02654, which contains important information about COVID-19 for children and families who access early intervention services through the Birth to Three Program.

A child with cerebral palsy in a mobility chair

Children's Long-Term Services

Children who have a severe physical, developmental or emotional disability may be eligible for the program. Children must meet the following criteria:

  • Child has a disability determination from SSI Medicaid, Katie Beckett Medicaid or State Waiver Medicaid
  • Child meets financial requirements in accordance with Medicaid guidelines
  • Child must meet a level of care as determined through an assessment and functional screen

Children who are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, which includes Autism, Pervasive Developmental Delays or Asperger’s, must meet additional requirements to be eligible for specialized treatment programs.

To view the Wisconsin DHS Newsletter Library, including versions in Spanish and Hmong: 

Wisconsin DHS Newsletter Library: All in for Kids

A smiling family in front of a house

Children's Community Options Program

Children, age birth to 21, with a severe physical, emotional or developmental condition that is diagnosed through use of medical, behavioral or psychological criteria and is characterized by the need for individually planned and coordinated care treatment, vocational rehabilitation or other services are eligible. The condition is likely to result in substantial limitations in a child's ability to function in three or more of the following areas:

  • Self care
  • Receptive and expressive language
  • Learning
  • Mobility
  • Self-direction
  • Capacity for independent living
  • Economic self sufficiency

A young man in a mobility chair on the beach with arms outstretched

Youth Transition Services

Generally, students and families are concerned with and dealing with what options they may have after leaving high school. These options can be divided into three main areas:

  • Educational
  • Vocational
  • Residential

Educational Options can vary considerably based on the student’s abilities and preferences. The student may want to pursue college or technical school. The student may need training on how to safely cross the street. 

Vocational Options may involve training for a career or assistance with a job search. In many cases, the first resource for vocational related activities is the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR).

Residential Options are designed to assist the student with special needs to be as independent as their skills allow. The supports can run the gamut from assistance in the home to supported apartments to group homes to assistance finding the student’s own apartment.


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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