Foster Care

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Only eight months after launching West Virginia’s first family treatment court, Boone County Judge William Thompson said the coronavirus pandemic caused some drastic changes to the program.

Family treatment court is a “problem solving court.” Instead of punishing parents in the abuse and neglect system for their addiction, it connects them to treatment options and resources to improve their parenting.

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear how one court program that helps bring families back together is adapting in this time of social distancing. And we explore some tips on how to get outside and learn some new history.

All this week on West Virginia Morning, West Virginia Public Broadcasting is featuring stories about how kids are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic – including some of the state’s most vulnerable.

U.S. Army photo

For many children in West Virginia, school is a respite; it’s a place where they get two meals a day and where teachers and counselors keep watchful eyes over them. But schools have been closed for a month and will remain closed for at least another two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. The situation has child welfare workers concerned that children in vulnerable situations may be going unnoticed. 

 

 

courtesy of West Virginia Center for Children's Justice

The West Virginia Legislature recently passed a major foster care bill, which provides more resources for foster care parents among other provisions.

This bill is part of ongoing reforms to the state’s overwhelmed child welfare system, as officials work to manage the futures of nearly 7,000 children in state custody. Last year the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced it had selected Aetna Better Health to help manage health services for foster children. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, coal miners with black lung disease met recently to discuss the 2020 legislative session, and we hear from Aetna Better Health, which was selected last year by the state Department of Health and Human Resources to help manage health services for foster children.

The House of Delegates’ foster care bill was up for a vote in the Senate Friday, while the Senate's Intermediate Court of Appeals bill was up for a vote in the House. We recap that action and more in our weekly reporter roundtable.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia senators passed a bill from the House of Delegates on Friday, in an attempt to reform various aspects of the state’s overwhelmed foster care system

Host Suzanne Higgins has a conversation with House Finance members for a breakdown of the budget bill that passed out of the House chamber Wednesday night – a budget with some key differences in spending priorities than that of the Senate.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill for foster care reform in the West Virginia Legislature was amended further Wednesday night, before it was sent to the full Senate for consideration. 

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A committee in the West Virginia Senate has passed a bipartisan bill from the House of Delegates that would reform the foster care system, but not without significant amendments to the bill’s financial items. 

Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by Brad McElhinny of West Virginia MetroNews and Steven Allen Adams of Ogden Newspapers for a reporter roundtable featuring an update on both the Senate and House proposed state budgets.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Foster parents may soon get more money for adopting children under a measure passed by the House of Delegates Tuesday aimed at alleviating West Virginia's overburdened foster care system.

Delegates voted 96-1 to approve the bill, with Republican Del. Pat McGeehan as the lone no vote after he was told the measure would cost the state around $17 million.

We bring you a special report on the state's Medical Cannabis program and a bill this session to expand it to further accommodate patients. We'll also bring you an update on other major health bills from members of the House Health and Human Resources Committee.

We’ve passed the deadline for bills to be introduced in the House of Delegates this session. On Monday, that same cut-off will be in the Senate. Host Suzanne Higgins sits down with statehouse reporters Ryan Quinn of The Charleston Gazette-Mail, Taylor Stuck of the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, and Brad McElhinny of WV MetroNews for this week’s roundtable.

It’s Friday, and that means we look back at a week of West Virginia Legislative action. We’ve also officially reached the half-way mark of the 2020 session. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by statehouse reporters Phil Kabler of The Charleston Gazette-Mail, Emily Allen of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and Steven Allen Adams of Ogden Newspapers.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

An alternative solution to West Virginia’s substance use epidemic and foster care crisis already is “off the ground and running,” according to the Boone County Circuit Court Judge William Thompson.

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

In its $6.1 billion budget request for the upcoming fiscal year, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has proposed increasing funds for child welfare programs, the recruitment and retention of staff, efforts to improve state-run hospitals and the elimination of a waitlist for the state IDD waiver program. 

We highlight the multiple challenges West Virginia’s active military members and veterans face, and we explore legislation addressing many of those concerns. We also bring you the latest news from the West Virginia Legislature.

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House Health and Human Resources Committee is sending a bill focused on recovering runaway and missing foster care children to the full House with a favorable recommendation.

This week lawmakers debated tax breaks, sought remedies for a foster care system in crisis, passed a resolution calling for a convention of states and much more. Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by statehouse reporters to recap a week of legislative action.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about the foster care system, and kinship parents – often grandparents – who are raising their children’s kids.

On The Legislature Today, we discuss West Virginia children in crisis and a foster care system under the microscope. The new Senate Select Committee on Children and Families had its first meeting where the dire needs of the state's 10,000 homeless students and 7,000 foster children are the focus. Reporter Roxy Todd also joins our program to lead a discussion with state lawmakers on the issue.

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Delegates on the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee passed a bill to create a foster child’s bill of rights Tuesday morning.

Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with statehouse reporters to recap a week of legislative action. We also bring you a story looking at the newly created West Virginia Narcotics Intelligence Unit.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Lawmakers highlighted both a potential conflict of interest and staffing concerns in a bill establishing responsibilities for a newly created and appointed foster care ombudsman. 

Host Suzanne Higgins sits down with Gov. Jim Justice to discuss his proposed budget, his work over the last four years as governor, and his thoughts for the future. Higgins also speaks with Reporter Emily Allen and Senior Reporter Dave Mistich about the latest news from the Capitol building.

We launch our nightly coverage of the 2020 West Virginia Legislative session with reaction to Gov. Jim Justice's State of the State Address.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) released a study this week about the barriers kinship foster care families face, and what the state can do to support them. 

Adobe Stock

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has selected Aetna Better Health of West Virginia as the company to oversee their management of foster care in West Virginia.

A managed care model is essentially a privatized form of contracting out government services to a company in the private sector. In most states, including West Virginia, Medicaid is contracted out through a managed care model. 

Pages