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§49-1-105. Purpose.

(a) It is the purpose of this chapter to provide a system of coordinated child welfare and juvenile justice services for the children of this state. The state has a duty to assure that proper and appropriate care is given and maintained.

(b) The child welfare and juvenile justice system shall:

(1) Assure each child care, safety and guidance;

(2) Serve the mental and physical welfare of the child;

(3) Preserve and strengthen the child family ties;

(4) Recognize the fundamental rights of children and parents;

(5) Develop and establish procedures and programs which are family-focused rather than focused on specific family members, except where the best interests of the child or the safety of the community are at risk;

(6) Involve the child, the child's family or the child's caregiver in the planning and delivery of programs and services;

(7) Provide community-based services in the least restrictive settings that are consistent with the needs and potentials of the child and his or her family;

(8) Provide for early identification of the problems of children and their families, and respond appropriately to prevent abuse and neglect or delinquency;

(9) Provide for the rehabilitation of status offenders and juvenile delinquents;

(10) As necessary, provide for the secure detention of juveniles alleged or adjudicated delinquent;

(11) Provide for secure incarceration of children or juveniles adjudicated delinquent and committed to the custody of the director of the Division of Juvenile Services; and

(12) Protect the welfare of the general public.

(c) It is also the policy of this state to ensure that those persons and entities offering quality child care are not over-encumbered by licensure and registration requirements and that the extent of regulation of child care facilities and child placing agencies be moderately proportionate to the size of the facility.

(d) Through licensure, approval, and registration of child care, the state exercises its benevolent police power to protect the user of a service from risks against which he or she would have little or no competence for self protection. Licensure, approval, and registration processes shall, therefore, continually balance the child's rights and need for protection with the interests, rights and responsibility of the service providers.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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