Audit: West Virginia not checking criminal history of child care staff

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A statehouse watchdog says West Virginia isn’t doing criminal background checks on its child protective services workers.

A legislative audit released Tuesday on the state Department of Health and Human Resources identified multiple problems with the agency as it grapples with booming caseloads in the national opioid epidemic.

The report says the department couldn’t show it performed background checks on all its new child protective workers and that it wasn’t doing checks on its existing employees. The agency also doesn’t have a way to monitor the licensure status of its child protective workers.

The audit also says the agency is having difficulty retaining workers as the number of substance abuse referrals has increased by 79% since 2015.

An agency lawyer says they’re working to fix the issues identified in the audit.