West Virginia Watch, Hampshire Review – Child protective services workers are responding to around 68% of abuse and neglect referrals in the required timeframe, according to state health department leaders, revealing some children may remain in dangerous situations.
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The rate marks an improvement for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources after a 2018 state audit found the state’s CPS workforce didn’t investigate half of complaints in the required timeframe, which is typically 30 days, though some require a faster response. DHHR leaders acknowledged that the problem continued into 2021.
Cynthia Persily, incoming secretary of the Department of Human Services, told state lawmakers on Sunday that the ongoing inability to investigate all child abuse and neglect referrals in a timely manner is due to a number of factors, including a struggle to find parents named in a referral.