West Virginia

Department of Health, Department of Health Facilities, and Department of Human Services

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Department of Human Services

West Virginia Department of Human Services Provides Response on ABC Motion for Sanctions


A magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia issued a decision Thursday to Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions in the case Jonathan R. et al. v. Jim Justice, et al. between the West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS) and A Better Childhood. DoHS is pleased with the judge’s decision to reject the plaintiff’s allegation that DoHS intentionally failed to preserve emails of former employees. 

While DoHS does not agree with all conclusions in the magistrate judge’s decision, DoHS appreciates the court’s careful consideration of these issues.

Over the last several years, DoHS has devoted a large number of resources to improving the child welfare program, including significantly increasing caseworker resources and transforming the community-based mental health system that serves foster children. Last year, with the assistance of the Governor, DoHS markedly increased the salaries for all child welfare workers and provided additional positions to help support child welfare workers. DoHS’s Bureau for Social Services (BSS) implemented ChildStat, an accountability tool used by senior leadership to monitor and track progress on key performance indicators of child welfare. DoHS also developed an informal Youth Advisory Council whereby BSS senior leadership meet regularly with children aging out of shelters to hear their concerns on how the child welfare system impacted their life and suggestions to improve it.

DoHS continues to expand West Virginia children’s mental health system to ensure that children can receive appropriate mental health and social services in their homes, schools, and communities, efficiently and effectively through home and community-based services including West Virginia Wraparound, Children’s Mobile Crisis Response and Stabilization, Stabilization and Treatment Homes, Behavioral Support Services, Assertive Community Treatment, and Mental Health Screening.

DoHS has implemented several initiatives including the Resource Rundown webinar to educate parents and caregivers about the Pathway to Children’s Mental Health Services (Assessment Pathway) to streamline access to mental and behavioral health services for children and families while quickly connecting them with a Wraparound Facilitator to help children and families navigate the process. 

Recently, DoHS published its semi-annual report outlining the expansion of children’s mental health system.

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