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Nearly Half Of Kids In Foster Care With Family

Parental drug use is increasingly cited as the reason to remove kids from their homes and place them in foster care. Some argue more should be done to keep families together.
Heleen Zeegers
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Nearly half of children in foster care in West Virginia are staying with family.

Compared to the national average, West Virginia has more children in the foster care system than any other state.

Jeff Pack, the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Social Services, told the West Virginia Legislature’s Committee on Children and Families that almost 13 out of every 1,000 children in West Virginia are currently in the state’s foster care system. The positive to come out of the situation is that nearly half of those children are in kinship care.

Kinship care is when children are placed with someone they're familiar with like family, a teacher or someone from church.

“As of the end of the month, we had over 6,600 kids in state custody,” Pack said. “Forty six percent of those — over 3,000 — were placed with kinship care.”

Pack also noted that West Virginia compares favorably when it comes to the stability for kids in foster care and the incidence of maltreatment while in care.

News Director, edouglas@wvpublic.org, 304-556-4946, @AppalachiaEric

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