Sunday, August 14, 2022


Voting-rights groups sue AZ to block 'Election Security' Bills; U.S House vote expected today on the new Inflation Reduction Act; the Attorney General moves to release details on search of Trump s home.


Local election officials detail how election misinformation is fueling threats; Media outlets ask a court to unseal the search warrant of Donald Trump's home; and the CDC changes its approach to COVID-19.


Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

CPS Shortages, Lack of Data, Plague System as Demand for Foster Parents Rises


Tuesday, December 21, 2021   

Children's advocates said they are hoping for major changes to the state's foster-care and child-protective services systems in the new year.

Recent investigations have highlighted a strained foster-care system, largely because of the opioid crisis and lack of resources.

Marissa Sanders, director of the West Virginia Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Parents Network, said while state lawmakers recently formed a bipartisan child-welfare caucus, she has since seen little movement on the issue.

Sanders would like the state to increase accountability and data collection on how many foster parents are in the state, and what their capacity to care for children is.

"We have a staffing shortage is CPS, which is common," Sanders asserted. "One of the best ways to alleviate that is to reduce the number of kids coming into care. And in West Virginia, we have the highest number of children per-capita in care of any state in the country, and we remove more children than any other state per capita."

According to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, more than 7,000 West Virginia children currently live in foster care, and in 2019 West Virginia removed 14 out of every 1,000 children from their homes. The national average is three children per 1,000.

Rachel Kinder, FrameWorks Director for Mission West Virginia, said despite the state's problems and serious concerns over child safety and wellbeing, increasing numbers of kids are entering the foster-care system, and there are not enough adults to care for them.

"So we just have an ever-increasing need for new foster parents," Kinder explained. "There's also kind of this cycle where people become foster parents, and if a child is not able to be reunified with their family of origin, then those foster parents a lot of times adopt. And that lessens their ability to be foster parents."

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 140,000 children lost a caregiver or parent due to pandemic-related causes, and it is estimated a portion of those children could end up in foster care.

Sanders added foster care is designed to be a temporary intervention, and she believes the state should shift toward a model which increases partnership between birth parents and foster parents to strengthen a child's web of support.

"Really, the goal of foster are is always reunification, unless it becomes clear that's not safe," Sanders emphasized.

According to the publication The Imprint, the number of children who were living with foster parents through state agencies across the country dropped by 4% during the pandemic. As of last March, around 402,000 children were in foster care nationwide.

get more stories like this via email
Since the 2020 election, at least 19 states have passed 34 laws restrict­ing access to voting, according to the Brennan Center For Justice. (Orlowiski Designs/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting-rights advocates are suing the state of Arizona over new regulations they say make it harder for some people to register and would block thousa…

Health and Wellness

Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…


A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …

Community Health Centers in Missouri serve a disproportionate level of uninsured and Medicaid patients. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …

Health and Wellness

Health advocates are hailing the new Inflation Reduction Act, saying it would be the biggest health-care reform since the Affordable Care Act…

Excessive heat kills more Americans than floods, extreme cold, or lightning by far. (New Africa/Adobestock)

Social Issues

As parts of Southern California suffer with triple-digit temperatures, state lawmakers are set to vote today on two bills to study and mitigate heat …

Social Issues

While abortion care is in the headlines, a new report says accessing other health-care services is a challenge for many women in Georgia. Data from …


Hunters, landowners and wildlife managers are gathering in Montana to discuss the need for novel approaches to elk management. The 2022 Elk …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021