The West Virginia State Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has plans to begin soliciting applications for the state foster care ombudsman position. The incumbent’s duties include tracking foster families’ complaints about agencies they deal with here. These organizations include social service agencies, public agencies, including DHHR itself, and managed care organizations. So, the question that we – Robert and Kathleen Raskin – are asking is why wasn’t there something already in place?
There are about 7,000 kids in state custody. How were their complaints handled before? How many have fallen to the wayside because of a lack of government oversight? It’s this lackadaisical approach to caring for simple human needs has us downright fuming. People must take a stand and say something for the people who don’t have a voice. That’s what we’re doing with everything that we do here.
Transitioning to Managed Care
West Virginia lawmakers, during the 2019 legislative session, added this position as part of a bill assisting foster children to managed care. The system in place means the state pays third-party managed care organizations to not only improve the quality of health care but also reduce Medicaid costs. However, if you look at some of our previous entries, these third-party organizations need to be paid. And who pays them? The state, with your tax dollars.
At least with the new ombudsman position, people will be able to air their grievances about what’s going on. It’s tangible and trackable, and trends can be identified to focus on closely. However, this only one drop in the bucket. The entire system must be overhauled to accommodate the issues that are plaguing West Virginia right now.
Open Your Eyes to the Foster Care Crisis in West Virginia
There’s an emergency going on in your backyard. We charge the state of West Virginia to take control of the situation and protect its citizens.