By Steven Allen Adams, The Inter-Mountain
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill designed to make improvements to West Virginia’s foster care system passed the House of Delegates on Wednesday with wide bipartisan support.
The House passed House Bill 4344, relating to foster care, in a 99-1 vote with only Del. Marty Gearheart, R-Mercer, voting no. The bill now heads to the state Senate for further consideration.
HB 4344 requires the state Department of Health and Human Resources to develop a program with child placement agencies to ensure that kinship families are assigned to the agencies that can provide support services to the family. The department would need to create a new database to track these placements at an estimated cost of $8 million for the first year and $1.3 million per year to maintain…