Governor Jim Doyle has announced plans for a new state agency. Doyle's proposed Wisconsin Department of Children and Families would streamline services for child welfare, child care services, child support, and W-2. Great idea, says Milwaukee Democrat, state Representative Tamara Grigsby. "We have families in the child welfare system, in the W-2 system, in the child support system, that are all receiving services," says Grigsby. "It makes sense to make sure that those services are coordinated in a way that can best serve these families."
Grigsby says she'll fight vehemently for Doyle's proposal, which would unify services currently divided between the Departments of Health and Family Services Workforce Development. Grigsby says anyone who understands families in poverty will see the efficiencies in the plan, although her concern is that some lawmakers will see this as taking welfare reform away from Workforce Development, and she doesn't want that to be the case. Doyle's office says the proposed new department will be Wisconsin's first cabinet agency devoted exclusively to helping and protecting kids and families.