GRAFTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Delegate Amy Summers (R-Taylor, District 49) joined leaders from several states at the Three Branch Institute on Improving Child Safety and Preventing Child Fatalities June 28-30, in Nashville, TN.
The West Virginia team leaders included Nancy Sullivan, Acting Commissioner of the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities; Linda Watts, Acting Commissioner of the Bureau for Children and Families; and Cammie Chapman, Director of Children’s and Court Services of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. Joan Ohl of Casey Family Programs provided guidance to the team.
Sponsored by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and Casey Family Programs, the Three Branch Institute facilitated state teams’ exchange of strategies for creating integrated and comprehensive approaches for improving the safety of children known to the child welfare system or at risk of child welfare involvement by aligning the work of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government.
Representatives from Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin heard from experts on topics including ways to support kinship care, promote safe sleep of infants, implement plans of safe care for families, and review child fatalities constructively.
The work of the West Virginia team will continue after the meeting to improve child safety and reduce child fatalities in the state. Priorities include promoting safe sleep practices, reviewing foster care licensing policies, and bolstering support for new parents. Existing resources for parents and others include the following: