CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A team of sociologists and social workers from West Virginia University are urging legislators to take steps to serve children with behavioral problems in some sort of family environment, and to only use institutions as a last resort.
The researchers told a joint health committee on Tuesday that if a child's parents are not a viable option some sort of family-based foster care is preferable to residential treatment.
They recommended that the state create a plan to eliminate redundancy and confusion among state agencies in meeting the needs of troubled children.
Several legislators on the committee called for more funding for child health services to provide more caseworkers and treatment programs. They did not say how much money would be needed to address the issue.