West Virginia is experiencing a child welfare crisis. The Year of the Child campaign was created to address these challenges, especially for those children affected by the drug epidemic. How do we keep these kids physically and emotionally healthy? As the drug epidemic continues to grip West Virginia, the toll it takes on its smallest victims increases.

According to WVDHHR, there has been a 22% increase in accepted abuse/neglect referrals over three years, andĀ 85% of open child abuse/neglect cases involve drugs. West Virginia is #1 in child removals nationally.

It affects our health care system.

It affects our public schools.

It affects our foster care system.

Currently, our state lacks a comprehensive approach to address the needs of kids affected by the drug epidemic in the systems that serve them: health care, public education, child welfare, foster/kinship care, and the juvenile justice system.

The Year of the Child Campaign is a year-long event created to form a critical mass of West Virginians to prioritize the unmet needs of kids affected by the drug epidemic.

The campaign plans to cultivateĀ champions.

Initiate a statewide dialogue

Hold four more roundtable events in our two-year series of events.

Invite experts from all affected systems to serve as panelists.

Give attendees the opportunity to ask questions and share comments.

Provide reports from each roundtable event with stakeholders and legislators.

For the Sake of the Kids: Responding to the Opioid Crisis

Virtual Town Hall

October 29 at the University of Charleston

The campaign will select issues for its 2019 Platform.

The campaign will prioritize a few bold ideas for its first legislative platform for the 2019 West Virginia Legislative Session. We anticipate ideas that will bridge silos between affected systems, such as health care and education, or education and child welfare. Year of the Child Day at the Capitol is scheduled for January 31,2019.

Join the campaign

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Email Kelli Caseman at kelli@wvahc.org.

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Kelli Caseman

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