State Lawmakers Outline Hopes For Tackling Foster Care Crisis In W.Va.


On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about the foster care system, and kinship parents – often grandparents – who are raising their children’s kids.

The state’s overwhelmed foster care system is among the top issues lawmakers in West Virginia are working to address this legislative session. Many of the foster families in the state are what’s known as kinship parents, oftentimes grandparents. Research suggests children in kinship homes have better behavioral and mental health outcomes than children who are placed with a stranger. Roxy Todd went to visit with a kinship grandparent in Jackson County to hear her story.

On Thursday night’s episode of The Legislature Today, Roxy Todd also spoke with state lawmakers about the growing foster care crisis in West Virginia. Todd was joined by Sen. Patricia Rucker, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Children and Families, Del. Barbara Evans Fleischauer, Minority Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and Sen. John Unger, member of the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee. Here’s an excerpt from the interview, taped live at the Capitol. 

Our Mountain Stage Song of the Week comes from Award-winning bluegrass group Balsam Range. Their song “If I Needed Someone,” finds the band blending bluegrass with The Beatles.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Our Appalachia Health News project is made possible with support from CAMC and Marshall Health.

West Virginia Morning is produced with help from Caitlin Tan, Jessica Lilly, Kara Lofton, Liz McCormick, Dave Mistich, Brittany Patterson, Eric Douglas, Cory Knollinger Emily Allen, and Roxy Todd.

Our news director is Jesse Wright, our producer is Glynis Board, and our host is Teresa Wills.