West Virginia’s reliance on out-of-state group homes leaves some foster kids in unsafe, abusive situations
When major problems — including abuse and neglect — come to light, the state doesn’t always immediately move kids to safety. West Virginia officials tasked with foster kids’ care won’t answer questions about how they vet out-of-state facilities or how often they check on the kids living there.
Foster kids need families to live with and state social workers to check on them. West Virginia doesn’t have enough of either.
As the number of kids in state custody rises, these shortages mean there are few good options for their care.
West Virginia knows how to keep kids out of foster care. But funding for key programs has been in short supply.
Prevention programs have succeeded in the past. But often, too little money means programs get cut, or aren’t available everywhere.
Impact: WV lawmakers promise look at system that left foster kids in abusive out-of-state facilities
A Mountain State Spotlight/GroundTruth Project report found West Virginia children were left at out-of-state facilities with problems, including abuse.