CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A high child protective services caseload in West Virginia has prompted officials to add 48 positions to handle such cases across the state.

The Department of Health and Human Resources says in a news release the state has seen a 34 percent increase in its child protective services caseload in the past three years. DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch says 83 percent of such cases involve drugs.

Crouch says the new positions will help counties with extremely high caseloads per worker. He says the changes involve no new funding and are being done through the redistribution of DHHR resources.

The workers’ caseloads include investigating reports of abuse and neglect, providing family services in homes, placing children in foster care or finding them permanent homes, and providing services for children transitioning into adulthood while in foster care.

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