Randy Yohe Published

Foster Care Worker Raises To Come Before July 1

Children in foster care typically haven't been to the doctor or dentist regularly.

West Virginia’s sweeping foster care bill, HB 4344, died in the Legislature, but there is a plan to deliver on the raises promised to front line case workers.

With Child Protective Service worker vacancies ranging from 25 percent statewide, to 70 percent in some counties, some of West Virginia’s most vulnerable children may not be getting the attention they need. Just before the bill died, Gov. Jim Justice said he would honor the 15 percent raise request meant to recruit and retain protective service workers.

DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch said the state will come up with the money for the raises by collapsing many long time vacancies all across the Department of Health and Human Resources.

He says the 15 percent raises for both Child and Adult Protective Service workers, along with critical staff, will be in addition to the five percent raise the legislature approved for all state workers. Crouch said those raises will come sooner than later.

“We’re pushing to have this done before July first of this year,” Crouch said. “So that those raises go into effect prior to the statewide July first raises.”

Crouch said the job reorganization is being done methodically, while maintaining the positions needed to provide essential services.