Alternative Response


There’s been a lot of discussion about how Alternative Response, or AR, fits into CPS practice in Wisconsin. What is it? What isn’t it? What’s the same about practice and what’s different?

The purpose of this 2-module training is to provide CPS workers with a framework to understand where and how AR fits into practice. Participants will consider how to incorporate an Alternative Response approach in their work with families. The focus is on the core concepts of program, pathway, and practice.

While this orientation is intended to provide new information, it’s only the beginning of a conversation as counties kick off implementing Alternative Response.

Before You Begin

Please download the following documents to use with their associated modules:

Module 1 Documents
Training Plan
AR and TR Table
Reassignment Questions

Module 2 Documents
Case Report

Target Audience

The target audience is Initial Assessment and Access workers who will be implementing Alternative Response in their county. Agency staff and community partners are also welcome to complete the training. There are no pre-requisites.

If you’re a partner who collaborates with CPS, this training will provide an overview of AR and help support discussion about how your practice and work may look when working with families on an Alternative Response pathway. Counties with CPS Agencies implementing AR will host community meetings where partners will get together to further look at how AR will impact their combined work. This training will help you prepare for those meetings.


Upon completion of AR Pre-Service, learners will be able to:

  • Recognize that Alternative Response expands our options from one pathway to two.
  • Describe how Alternative Response fits into CPS.
  • Recall that reassignment is possible in AR cases based on assessment and supervisor approval.
  • Recognize how Alternative Response and Traditional Response are similar and different in practice.