Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Juvenile Court Program

Shelter Home

The Shelter Home provides non-secure (unlocked) residential services for juveniles who may need a place to stay pending further court action but for whom placement in a secure setting (Detention) is not necessary. The Shelter Home provides for placement of up to 8 boys and 8 girls. Juveniles may stay at the Shelter Home for up to 60 days, or up to 20 days if in between placements.


What is Shelter Home?
Shelter Home is a temporary living facility for Dane County juveniles. Shelter Home houses up to 16 juveniles, ages 10-17, for up to 60 days. Male and female staff members are on duty 24-hours daily to serve boys and girls in placement.

May my child leave the Shelter Home?
Yes, if the court order allows for it.  Residents earn the sign out privilege by means of good behavior, household jobs completion, attending school, and keeping their rooms in order.  Staff must approve all sign out plans, times, and destinations.  The Case Manager will usually speak with the resident’s social worker to coordinate sign out options and which adults can sign out the resident.  The sign out rules are quite strict.

May I visit my child at Shelter Home?
Yes. Parents and other family members may visit residents at any reasonable time. It is wise to call ahead to make sure that your child will be at the facility when you wish to visit.

Will my child attend school?
Yes.  Children actively enrolled in a Madison school program are expected to continue in that program.  They will walk or bus to school (bus passes will be provided for those in need).  Attendance will be monitored.  During the school year children from outside Madison or Madison children who are not actively enrolled are required to participate in the Shelter Home School program, an MMSD school teacher and SEA are provided.  Students earn credit for their participation.  In the Summer, the children not enrolled in a Madison school program will participate in an enrichment activity.

What is my financial  responsibility?
Parents will not be billed for placements.

Medical Care
Shelter Home staff make efforts to assure all residents' good health. A general health screen is required of all residents (this requirement will be waived if a physician has been consulted in the preceding 60 days); the Shelter Home will provide health screens for some residents at no cost. 
Financial responsibility for physicals or follow-up care remains with whoever had responsibility at the time of admission. Parents will be asked to sign a Medical Consent form which authorizes Shelter Home staff to secure care for their child in the event that such is needed and parents cannot be located. Parents are requested to inform Shelter Home staff of any medical concerns (allergies, medications, etc.) on this form. Parents will be informed of any medical concerns that arise during their children’s stays at Shelter Home.

Clothing/Other Possessions
Children should have sufficient clothes and personal items for seven to ten days, up to five outfits total.  A washer and dryer are available for resident’s use.  Residents may bring their own soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and other personal hygiene items.  If they do not wish to bring their own, Shelter Home can provide basic hygiene items.  Some hygiene products are not permitted; typically those containing alcohol or in aerosol cans, staff will inform you what is allowed and what is not.  Razors are not permitted.  Staff will request that piercings of any type are removed.  Items of significant value should not be brought to Shelter Home; Items are sometimes lost or stolen.  All items residents bring into the facility is at their own risk. Electronics or electronic accessories are not permitted.

Children earn a small allowance each week ($3 –$5) by performing assigned household chores and can earn more by doing extra chores. Parents may supplement these allowances or provide money for special activities as they wish. Providing your child with large amounts of money ($10 – $20) is not recommended.  If residents owe restitution, it is strongly encouraged that a part of their allowance go toward their debt.  Residents can also do community service instead of earning allowance.

In compliance with state law, children are not allowed to smoke or be in possession of tobacco products while at Shelter Home. Those violating this rule, will have their cigarettes or other tobacco confiscated,  will have privileges restricted and may be ticketed by law enforcement.  If a Resident is found to be smoking or in possession of an illegal substance, it will confiscated and law enforcement will be contacted.

Can my child come home?
It is possible that your child could visit home for a few hours or on an overnight basis on weekends. Arrangements for visits must be made in advance with the Shelter Home Case Manager. The Case Manager will consult with the Social Worker. Court authorization is needed in some instances. Please contact the Case Manager no later than Wednesday of any given week.

What if my child runs away?
Shelter Home staff will contact the Juvenile Reception Center in the event of a runaway.  The Juvenile Reception Center staff will issue an apprehension request for your child.  Shelter will notify you.  Staff will pack belongings in your child’s room.  You should make arrangements to pick up your child’s belongings soon.  We will store the belongings for up to 30 days.   Items left past that time will be disposed of.

For more information, download the Shelter Home Handbook or contact us.