Emily Rice Published

DoHS Announces 47 Percent Vacancy Reduction In CPS

A child with pigtails and a pink backpack is seen walking down a road.Heleen Zeegers/Getty Images

The West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS), formerly part of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), announced there are fewer vacancies in the Child Protective Services (CPS) and Youth Services (YS) workforce within its Bureau for Social Services (BSS).

As of Nov. 30, 2023, there were 79 vacant CPS worker positions out of 458, marking a more than 47 percent vacancy reduction from the previous year, which saw 150 vacant positions, out of 455 in 2022.

Gov. Jim Justice praised the reductions in vacancies and congratulated Cabinet Secretary Cynthia Persily and Commissioner of the Bureau for Social Services Jeff Pack for their work on the department’s understaffing.

“These folks really need us and they need us really badly,” Justice said. “So congratulations, Cynthia, and congratulations, Jeff, and keep doing the good work for all of us.”

The Department of Human Services said it increased its workforce to better respond to an increasing number of child welfare abuse and neglect referrals. The Bureau for Social Service’s Central Intake reported 40,000 referrals in 2023.

“We had unbelievable vacancies of child protective services workers that we needed, we really needed really bad,” Justice said. “We have gone down from 458 positions that were unfilled, down to 79.”