CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia will be getting federal help to keep more at-risk kids out of institutions and in their home environments.

On Wednesday, the state Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Children and Families launched a federal pilot program called Safe at Home West Virginia. It’s aimed at kids between the ages of 12 and 17 who are in the state’s child welfare system in 14 counties.

“In many cases, these children are not delinquents or a definition of what you might define or we may have defined as delinquent. These are just children who have problems. These are children who need us,” said Karen Bowling, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

She said to answer that need they’ll be looking for ways tailor services to at-risk kids in ways that allow them to stay in their homes.

“Whether that’s with their parents or kin or foster care or even through adoption, (it’s about) how do we provide supportive services in a community-based environment which is proven to be the best approach to helping our children for the future,” Bowling said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“The Safe at Home West Virginia pilot program provides the opportunity to continue our efforts to improve and enhance our state’s child welfare system,” Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said in a statement on Wednesday.

“By identifying ways to deliver key in-home programming for our state’s at-risk kids, we can ensure they are receiving important services in an environment where they feel comfortable and safe, which will help them become productive adults.”

West Virginia is one of ten states that will receive a federal waiver from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families to support the Safe at Home program.

It will serve kids and families in Berkeley, Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Morgan, Putnam, Roane and Wayne counties.

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  • sam

    Lets look at this! The DHHR director needs to be dismissed. Now she wants to promote this program. This will make it easier accessable for the DHHR workers to violate childrens rights.

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department alleges a state child protective services worker sexually assaulted a teenage boy.

    It’s alleged Kara Brumley, 32, was a caseworker for the 16-year-old. She is charged with sexual assault by a custodian. She was arraigned in Kanawha County Magistrate Court Thursday evening

  • Say What

    This sure sounds like nothing more than 80% administrative costs and 20% to the ones 'at risk'. At least the ice-water bucket challenge thing was less than 80% admin/marketing.

  • Nik

    We are blessed that someone is finally tackling the deplorable state of affairs in how we manage our at risk children in West Virginia. It is the Lord's work and if we can't do right by our children then there is no hope for us.

    This is what our so called politicians should be running their campaigns on and not all that negative garbage.

  • David

    It takes a federal program to address this?
    What are they at risk for?