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Teens Moved From Martinsburg Treatment Facility After DHHR Investigation

Kristian Thacker
Charleston, W.Va. - March 1st, 2021 - The West Virginia Division of Health and Human Resources building in downtown Charleston. DHHR oversees the foster system in the state of West Virginia.

Teenagers at a Martinsburg-based residential treatment facility were removed after a Department of Health and Human Resources investigation Friday.

DHHR declined an interview but said the Bureau of Social Services has stopped placing children at the Board of Child Care as a result of the investigation.

A statement provided to West Virginia Public Broadcasting said, “Some children who were placed at the Board of Child Care have returned home or to other appropriate placements. As placements are being determined, those children who are still being cared for at the Board of Child Care-Falling Water campus are being provided additional support and supervision.”

The Board of Child Care of The United Methodist Church is a residential treatment facility for youth, age 12 to 21. According to its website, the agency helps support those coping with emotional and behavioral issues.

The investigation comes while DHHR is undergoing a federal lawsuit related to foster care, with advocates arguing that DHHR failed to appropriately plan for the minors in its custody.

The department previously investigated the Board of Child Care in 2014 and 2015 after complaints of it being unsafe for staff and youth and reports of residents running away, respectively.

An employee was also charged with child abuse in 2019.

Eastern Panhandle Reporter, ssnyder@wvpublic.org, 304-449-4653

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