CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – On this week’s episode of Inside West Virginia Politics, we take a look at foster care and child protective services in the Mountain State, as well as the current open enrollment period for Medicare. We also hear more about the saga to elect a new Speaker of the House in Washington.

Our first guest this week is WV Delegate Sean Hornbuckle (D-Cabell). The House Minority Leader shares his party’s concerns regarding the shortage of child protective services workers in the Mountain State and what he believes needs done to fix the ongoing issue. He also touches on employment issues impacting West Virginians.

In Segment 2, U.S. Congressmen Alex Mooney joins us to discuss the whirlwind effort in Washington of trying to find a new Speaker of the House. When we spoke with Mooney, Tom Emmer (R-IN) was still the nominee. By that same evening he had dropped from the race. By Wednesday afternoon, the new nominee Mike Johnson (R-LA) secured enough votes and was sworn into the position.

For our third segment, we turn back to child welfare in the Mountain State with Kelly Allen who works for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. Allen talks about the statistics of West Virginia having the highest rate of foster children in the nation, meaning for every 1,000 West Virginia kids, 13 are in foster care. She also shares more about what needs to be done to help children and their families before they reach a point of crisis.

In our last segment, we sit down with Kim Newsome of the West Virginia Aging and Disability Resource Center to discuss the importance of Medicare’s open enrollment period, which is happening now. The center offers free resources to help Medicare recipients navigate through the process and find the Medicare plan that is best for them.