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The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Children and Families was awarded a Title IV-E Waiver to conduct a Demonstration Project in October 2014 by the United States Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau. The waiver will be used to implement a child welfare reform project called Safe at Home West Virginia.

The goals of Safe at Home West Virginia are to:

Ensure youth remain in their own communities whenever safely possible.
Reduce reliance on foster care/congregate care and prevent re-entries.
Reduce the number of children in higher cost placements out-of-state.
Step down youth in congregate care and/or reunify them with their families and home communities.

Safe at Home West Virginia will initially focus on youth 12-17 years old in congregate care both in and out of state. We believe that if targeted and comprehensive community services are provided to wrap around youth and their families, we can either reunify them or keep them out of care in the first place, and most importantly, keep youth in their communities.

With a goal of developing a model that can be replicated, Safe at Home West Virginia will start in the 8 counties in BCF Region II (Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Putnam and Wayne) and also in Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties in Region III.

This effort will require youth-serving public and private organizations to partner, innovate, and develop a shared commitment to transform the way we serve families. Key partners include child welfare, the courts, schools, probation, behavioral health, service providers, and others.

Through Safe at Home West Virginia, providers will be able to serve families with more flexible, targeted, and individualized services and also more effectively engage public and private partners to better meet the needs of youth and families.
Safe at Home West Virginia will also support improved well-being, with a particular focus on developing youth into successful, productive citizens.

Safe at Home West Virginia will include:

Trauma-informed assessments for youth and their families to identify their needs.
Trauma-informed wraparound services.
Evidence-based services and supports.
Opportunities to provide services early and often, aligned with the targeted needs of youth and their families.