The state’s Child Protective Services system doesn’t respond quickly to cases of alleged abuse or adequately document times when children are hurt or killed, according to a recent audit.
That’s putting children at risk, Candace Nelson wrote for today’s Daily Mail.
The Performance Evaluation and Research Division of the state legislative auditor’s office took a look at the CPS system. Apparently people involved agreed that it took CPS too long to investigate accusations, but the auditors wanted to see what affect that had on CPS overall job performance.
The results were shocking, Sen. Donald Cookman, D-Hampshire, told Candace.
“I couldn’t imagine a report being any worse,” he said.
“It’s extremely important we look at this and give it the importance it deserves and the attention it deserves.”
The report’s findings are not flattering:
- CPS workers meet their timeline on less than half their cases. That might be because the agency has a 28 percent turnover rate.
- There’s no review of reports at the state level, making decisions on how to improve services decentralized and inefficient.
- There is no formal review for each child abuse and neglect death or near death in the state.
The auditors issues recommendations and a representative for the state Department of Health and Human Resources responded.
In other news…
Allegations of illegal campaign contribution activity have keep officials at Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s office busy.
Most of the complaints are connected either to Mingo County elected officials or the Team Mingo 2012 political action committee. In early June, 11 days after the Daily Mail reported on potentially illegal campaign contributions to the PAC, the PAC returned all of the money to the respective contributors.
Democrats accused in the complaints say they’ve fixed any errors, if there were any, and they were minor. They accuse Republicans of trying to create trouble for political gain.
There were a few updates on the health care front as well.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced the state is asking the federal government for permission to offer Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) benefits to state employees taking part in Public Employee Insurance Agency coverage.
Supporters believe such a move will provide more coverage to more kids.
The state hopes the federal government will grant its waiver request, allowing eligible parents to enroll their kids as early as July 2014.
Lastly, groups in charge of hiring health care “navigators” will require those employees to get background checks and be fingerprinted before they can go out in the field.
Some were worried the “navigators,”–people charged with helping others sign up for coverage under the new federal Affordable Care Act–could potentially misuse sensitive information received in the sign-up process.
“There’s a lot of talk out there,” Pat Haberbosch, head of West Virginia Parent Training and Information, told Zack Harold. “We want as many safeguards as we can put in place.”