By Steven Allen Adams, The Intelligencer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The President of the West Virginia Senate is raising a number of ideas to reform and improve foster care and Child Protective Services in the state with the Department of Health and Human Resources’ interim leadership team.
In a letter dated Monday and released to the public Tuesday morning, state Senate President Craig Blair wrote a letter to Dr. Jeff Coben, the interim cabinet secretary for DHHR while the department seeks a permanent secretary to replace Bill Crouch, whose resignation went into effect on New Year’s Day.
“As you are aware, the Senate is deeply concerned about the current state of numerous programs housed within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and is committed to doing anything in its power to make and facilitate marked improvements, particularly in the area of child welfare,” Blair, R-Berkeley, wrote.
DHHR has come under greater scrutiny over the last several years. The department – one of the state’s largest – has a budget of $7.5 billion of state and federal dollars and more than 4,900 full-time employees. But despite its funding and resources, DHHR has continued to struggle, particularly in the areas of Child Protective Services and foster care…