SAFE AT HOME WEST VIRGINIA IS CREATING A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR WEST VIRGINIA YOUTH
|A column by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin|
|As Governor, our children’s well-being is one of my top priorities, and I am particularly proud of the progress we have made through the Safe at Home West Virginia program. The federally supported program’s innovative approach provides community and behavioral health services to children between 12 and 17 to keep them at home, close to their families. This model also reduces use of out-of-state facilities by keeping these youth in their communities.
Safe at Home West Virginia’s “wraparound” model allows the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources more flexibility in delivering services to youth, family members, caregivers and foster parents. Wraparound recognizes the far-reaching impact of trauma through all aspects of the youth’s community and involves the family in plans to address these complex needs. With the youth at the center of these efforts, many West Virginians are able to remain or return home safely.
We are excited to share and celebrate the stories of the lives our program already has touched. One young man had been away from his family for two years in a facility for treatment of behavioral problems caused by traumatic experiences. Through Safe at Home West Virginia, his family was reunited and provided the support and guidance they needed for development of a stable, loving home.
In the first phase of Safe at Home West Virginia, nearly 150 cases from 11 counties have been referred for wraparound services. Of those, 17 youth have returned to West Virginia; 23 have moved back to their home communities from in-state residential placements; and 43 have been prevented from entering residential placement.
Safe at Home West Virginia is equipping our families with the tools and resources to create environments where children can lead safe, healthy and successful lives at home in the Mountain State.
Given the positive results of the program’s first phase in Berkeley, Boone, Cabell, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Morgan, Putnam and Wayne counties, Safe at Home will begin to expand in the summer of 2016. The next phase will include Barbour, Brooke, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Mercer, Mineral, Monongalia, Monroe, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Summers, Taylor, Tucker and Upshur counties.
To learn more about this project, please visit http://safe.wvdhhr.org.