ROMNEY, W.Va. — State DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling has approved a six-month provisional license for the Potomac Center in Hampshire County.
Bowling said the license will allow the center to open cottages and house 8 children between the ages of 5 and 21 because the center has undertaken a corrective action plan.
“Over the course of three months, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has worked with the Potomac Center to ensure they meet all the criteria for licensure and have appropriate guidelines in place to provide a safe environment for the residents,” Bowling said in a release. “I appreciate the county judges, prosecutors, and behavioral health providers that have truly partnered with DHHR throughout this process.”
There was a controversy at the center that first surfaced back in January. Two dozen children were moved to other sites after managers reported physical and sexual abuse to state officials.
Mark Drennan, the executive director of the West Virginia Behavioral Health Care Providers Association, told MetroNews in February a small number of workers were directly involved in or had knowledge of three incidents, that he knew of, and three had been fired. Photos of kids in “demeaning” positions, he said, were sent to others via Snapchat, a social media app service that automatically deletes any sent photos once they’re viewed.
Secretary Bowling said Tuesday the DHHR would be on-site frequently in the months for random safety checks and to make sure procedures are being followed.
The Potomac Center is a program for children who have developmental disabilities and behavioral issues.