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Audit: West Virginia Child Protective Services Struggling To Handle Abuse And Neglect Cases

Kristi George
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A legislative post audit reveals serious problems with abuse and neglect cases handled by West Virginia’s Child Protective Services. Lawmakers heard the findings of the audit Tuesday during a legislative interim committee meeting. 

According to the audit, Child Protective Services workers fail to appropriately respond to reported cases of child abuse and neglect. 

State law dictates that an initial interview with the child be conducted within 14 days of abuse and neglect cases being reported. But, based on data from federal fiscal year 2018, CPS workers met that deadline in only half of reported cases.

CPS staff cite not being able to track down the family due to missing or incorrect information, the family not being home when the social worker arrives, as well as staffing issues.

The audit also says that CPS does not have mechanisms in place to monitor the licensure status of social workers and does not conduct criminal background checks following an employee’s hiring.

A native of Washington, West Virginia, Dave Mistich joined West Virginia Public Broadcasting in October of 2012, as the Charleston Reporter. After bouncing around a variety of newsroom roles at WVPB, he now focuses on state-level politics and government, as well as breaking news. Dave plays on the world's best-worst softball team, Chico's Bail Bonds. He can be reached via email at dmistich@wvpublic.org and you can follow him on Twitter @davemistich.

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