The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ (DHHR) Bureau for Family Assistance and Bureau for Social Services have been selected to participate in a federal program to develop innovative prevention strategies that reduce families’ involvement with the child welfare system through partnerships between Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and child welfare programs.
The one-year “Families Are Stronger Together (FAST): TANF & Child Welfare Partnering for Prevention Learning Community (FAST-LC),” hosted by the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, in partnership with the Children’s Bureau, will provide DHHR with individualized training and technical assistance, group learning activities and sessions, and the opportunity to form relationships with peer programs.
Through participation in the program, DHHR aims to have strengthened staff skills, capacity, and knowledge in service delivery, as well as to increase the agency’s leadership and organizational capacity.
“Strengthening the connection between family assistance programs and child welfare programs is a top priority for the Department,” said Cynthia Persily, Ph.D., Incoming Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Human Services. “This learning opportunity will enhance our efforts to support families with resources to avoid or reduce involvement with the child welfare system and ultimately facilitate an improved quality of life.”
The program includes on-site visits from FAST-LC coaches, as well as state-to-state peer visits to examine best practices and learn from other states across the nation. The FAST-LC Initial Convening, which is scheduled for October 18-19, 2023, will bring leaders from participating states together to build community and organize and prepare for effective and successful FAST-LC engagement.
To view and apply for career opportunities to support West Virginia families, visit dhhr.wv.gov/Pages/Career-Opportunities.aspx