Fact Sheets

The 2017 Annual Report included fifteen fact sheets on topics important to children's social, emotional, and mental well-being. In addition to the fact sheets, this page includes other relevant reports.

Jump to a specific topic:

Wisconsin's Children

​Children's Demographics and Well-Being

  • ​Wisconsin is 12th overall in Kids Count national health rankings.
  • Wisconsin's child population is 1,290,021, which breaks down as 10% Black children, 12% Hispanic children, 4% Asian children, 1% American Indian children, and 73% White children.



Mental Health Services

​Children's Medicaid Funded Mental Health Services

  • One percent of the Medicaid budget is spent on children’s mental health services.
  • Ten percent of children on Medicaid received Medicaid-funded mental health services, representing 4% of Wisconsin’s children.
  • There are many Medicaid funded children’s mental health services. Ideally, children and families would receive community based, lower cost services prior to engaging in hospitalizations and other high-intensity, high-cost services.

​Crisis Intervention Services for Children on Medicaid

  • ​Wisconsin has more youth using crisis intervention services each year, with 25% more children in 2015 than in 2011.
  • Youth ages 15 to 17 are most likely to use crisis services.

​Mental Health Provider Availability

  • Rural Wisconsin has an overall provider shortage which includes mental health providers.
  • Primary care physicians play a significant role in mental health provision.

Outpatient Mental Health Service Data for Children on Medicaid

  • ​Medicaid is the largest payer of children’s mental health services in Wisconsin.
  • Children’s mental health outpatient services have increased since 2012 in number of children served, number of sessions provided, and total amount spent.
  • Children in Wisconsin’s north and northwest receive, on average, more therapy visits than other parts of the state.

​County Mental Health Services

​Services for Children with Delays or Disabilities

  • ​One in four Wisconsin children with a disability receiving long-term supports in 2016 had mental health needs.
  • Fewer younger children (under three years of age) with social emotional needs are served compared to older children with a disability served.
  • Additional funding to the Children’s Long-Term Support (CLTS) Waiver Program will support an additional 2,600 children, about 30% of whom have a mental health diagnosis.
  • The CLTS Waiver Program provides many services for children and families; respite care funded at $8.7 million/year, is highly valued by parents.

​Youth Psychiatric Hospitalizations, Readmissions, and Emergency Detentions

  • ​Emergency detentions are on the rise. Wisconsin’s state facility reached 200% capacity in 2017.
  • Youth on Medicaid had fewer psychiatric hospitalizations in 2015 compared to the previous two years, though the number of Emergency Detentions almost doubled during that same time period.
  • Psychiatric hospitalizations are expensive, costing almost $5,000 per stay.


School- Related Data

​Mental Health Services in Schools

  • ​Wisconsin's schools, in general, lack the recommended number of school counselors, school nurses, and school social workers.
  • Three times as many students on Medicaid were served by community providers integrated into schools in 2015 compared to two years earlier.
  • School-based mental health makes up a small percentage (<5%) of outpatient therapy and many counties have no schools offering these services.

​School Outcomes

  • Suspension and expulsion put children at risk for negative outcomes including lower graduation rates and future involvement in the youth justice system.
  • Nationally, preschool children are expelled at a rate higher than school children in grades K through 12. In Wisconsin, around 1% of kindergarteners are suspended, though rates are higher at charter schools.
  • Wisconsin has some of the highest graduation rates for White children and some of the lowest rates for Black children.
  • Wisconsin's four year graduation rates have remained stable for students with disabilities and most racial groups.


Early Childhood Data

​Psychotropic Medication Prescribing for Children on Medicaid

  • ​Prescriptions of antipsychotics and stimulants for children on Medicaid decreased from 2013 to 2016.
  • Psychotropic prescriptions for children under age 11 decreased about 30%.
  • Children under the age of 12 are less likely to receive concurrent psychotherapy and medications than youth from 12-18 years of age (32% vs 40% older youth).
  • Thirty-nine percent of Wisconsin youth on Medicaid with any psychotropic receive more than one psychotropic medication.

​Resilience

  • ​Approximately 71% of Wisconsin's children bounce back quickly when disappointed.
  • Eighty-one percent of Wisconsin adults feel supported by friends.
  • Most Wisconsin adults have ACEs (56% have one or more) and most also have resilience factors.

School Outcomes

  • ​Suspension and expulsion put children at risk for negative outcomes including lower graduation rates and future involvement in the youth justice system.
  • Nationally preschool children are expelled at a rate higher than school children in grades Kindergarten through 12. In Wisconsin, around 1% of kindergarteners are suspended, though rates are higher at charter schools.
  • Wisconsin has some of the highest graduation rates for White children and some of the lowest rates for Black children.
  • Wisconsin four year graduation rates have remained stable for students with disabilities and most racial groups.


Special-Interest Topics

​Child Maltreatment and Out-of-Home Care

  • ​In Wisconsin and the U.S., the most common form of maltreatment is neglect.
  • The number of children in out-of-home care increased steadily from 2012 to 2015, reaching its highest point in the last 10 years.
  • Caregiver substance abuse is increasingly being identified as a reason for placement outside of the home.
    • The number of Wisconsin youth aging out of out-of-home-care in has declined since 2011.

Opioid and Methamphetamine Use

  • Use of methamphetamines has increased in Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin rates and dosage of opioid prescriptions have decreased from 2014 to 2016.
  • Wisconsin opioid related hospitalizations and the number of opioid-related deaths are increasing.

​Tribal Data

​Youth Justice

  • ​Youth with high Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are at greater risk of becoming youth offenders.
  • Black youth in Wisconsin are detained 19 times more than White youth, in contrast to the national trend of higher White youth detention rates.
  • Wisconsin youth arrests, detentions, and incarcerations are decreasing, though Wisconsin continues to have a higher youth arrest rate than the national average.
  • Overall rates of youth incarceration are going down.

​Youth Suicide and Self Harm

  • ​National and Wisconsin youth suicide rates have been rising since 2007.
  • Wisconsin consistently has higher youth suicide rates than the national average.
  • Wisconsin’s Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual students are 3.5 times more likely to attempt suicide.
  • Self harm rates have increased, particularly for Wisconsin females ages 15-19.
  • Wisconsin youth have protective factors such as adult mentors and community supports including access to Question Persuade and Refer (QPR), and text help lines.