Safe at Home West Virginia
Safe at Home West Virginia is a new approach to providing child welfare and community services to youth and their families. This initiative of the WV DHHR, Bureau for Children and Families, provides comprehensive services to youth, ages 12-17, with behavioral health needs. Services are intended to reduce the need for out-of-home care, particularly congregate care (group homes and institutions), and to keep youth safely in their own homes and communities.
Safe at Home West Virginia was designed because West Virginia has the highest rate of children entering foster care in the United States, 8.6 children per 1,000, 60% of youth, ages 13-17 in foster care, live in congregate care setting, approximately 80% of teens enter foster care because of a “child behavioral problem” and entry rates for older teens in WV are five times higher then the national average. We must work together to improve outcomes for our youth.
Our goal is to strengthen families and children in their home communities. While experts recommend that youth be cared for in the most family-like setting possible, too many of West Virginia’s teens enter and languish in group homes. In the traditional approach, youth were placed in congregate care in response to behavioral problems. With the new Safe at Home West Virginia approach, communities recognize the impact of trauma, and families are engaged in planning for services. Services are offered to address complex needs, while youth remain or return home safely.
We offer youth and their families’ trauma-informed assessments to identify needs, wraparound services that are individualized and coordinated and evidenced-based services and supports to improve outcomes. Safe at Home West Virginia has the resources and finances to put almost any service into place to keep children safely at home.
We serve youth ages 12-17 (as long as services start prior to 17th birthday) who have a formal diagnosis (mental health or behavioral). Youth must be referred by WV DHHR, be in out of state care, in state care or be at risk of being placed into congregate care. We provide referrals and assistance to help ensure that families can work together again. If you and your child are committed to staying in the home, placement doesn’t have to be an option. We work with you to provide daily interventions, as needed and we provide support through crisis intervention. We work along side the WV DHHR and have support from the juvenile justice system.
Our program is grounded in a strengths-based perspective, driven by determining the underlying needs, supported by an effective team progress and directed by the families themselves
I am not a teacher, but an awakener.
WE HAVE A PLACE FOR YOU.