Foster care gets help from phone line and email

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — We’ve been following the flaws in West Virginia’s foster care system for some time. And now … some help for more than seven-thousand children in the system is here.

A phone number, or an email, can help save the life of a foster child in West Virginia.

Cindy Hill, the Director for the Division of Juvenile Services for West Virginia Court of Appeals, says, “folks can call with a compliment, a concern, an issue related to their child abuse neglect guardian ad litem.

Courts appoint these special representatives for infants, minors, and mentally incompetent persons, all of whom generally need help protecting their rights in court. But Hill says, there’s just not enough of these special attorney’s in West Virginia.

“We just don’t have the infrastructure,” she says. “We don’t have it from an attorney base, we don’t have it from the department of health and human resources with available workers to be out. Considering the magnitude and the numbers that you’re familiar with, like 7,000 children in foster care.”

And that’s exactly the reason the Supreme Court of Appeals fought for another way for anyone to express a concern about a child in the foster care system.

The state is trying to find even more of the special guardians – and is providing on-line training on how to use technology during a time when personal visits with clients are not necessarily possible.

Hill also says that this is just one of the very few ways that showcases West Virginia’s strong unity, saying “you see that in a crisis, we’ve seen that in parts of West Virginia, when certain things have happened, floods, whatever that crisis may be, we’re good at coming together.”

Coming together … especially for the children who experience uncertain times: not just during a pandemic.

If you would like to express your concern or compliment call 681-587-9912 or email wvgal.can@courtswv.gov.

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