DHHR unveils major new initiative to strengthen protective services

gsee Jim Justice and Dr. Jeffrey H. Coben, Acting Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), announced a series of actions aimed at making continuous improvements to protective services. (CPS), Adult Protective Services (APS) and Youth Services (YS).

“We all know that child protection has been at the forefront of the issues facing DHHR and we have redoubled our efforts on recruitment and retention,” Governor Justice said. “These workers face extremely difficult challenges in their day-to-day jobs, and we need to make sure they know we’re supporting them in the important work they do to serve West Virginia families.”

As part of the improvements, the starting salary for these classifications has been increased by 20%. Employees previously hired in these categories who fall under the new salary classification will be immediately elevated to the new salary classification.


“When the Governor of Justice appointed me Acting Cabinet Secretary and requested that Dr Clay Marsh and retired Major General James Hoyer serve as advisers to DHHR, he stressed that we must act quickly and with boldness to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Dr Coben. . “Since then, we have received feedback from legislators, judges, faith-based organizations, workers and many others about the critical need to develop and maintain a highly skilled and supported workforce. This initiative is designed to do just that and will be an essential first step in our ongoing efforts to protect and help West Virginia’s most vulnerable children, youth, and adults.

Additional improvements include:

  • Changed the current retention bonus to a 10% base salary increase for employees reaching their second and fourth year of service and a 5% base salary increase for employees reaching their sixth and eighth year of service. work birthdays. This retention plan will apply retroactively to current employees for their benefit.

  • Establish a special $50,000 hiring rate for CPS workers in Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan counties to be more competitive with surrounding states.

  • Raise the classification of youth services to the same pay level as CPS workers.

  • Create 27 new full-time positions as paraprofessional staff to support field staff with administrative functions (travel and paperwork coordination) that may take time away from actual case work.

  • Created 10 new full-time policy and licensing positions to support increased licensing/policy reviews and investigations among residential treatment providers, both in-state and out-of-state .

  • Purchase of tablets for field staff to access West Virginia People’s Access to Help (WV PATH), DHHR’s online eligibility system, in the field to help families register and apply for services .

  • Installation of Wifi in all departmental offices.

In total, it is estimated that the improvement program will inject up to $10 million into the CPS/APS/YS workforce in the first 12 months.

These actions are in addition to previous improvements:

  • On December 14, 2022, the Government of Justice authorized a hiring bonus of $5,000 for the positions of CPS Worker and Social Worker 3 (Youth Services). This requires a one-year employment commitment in Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan counties.

  • Twenty-six counties are eligible for a $2,500 signing bonus for the same positions, which also requires a one-year employment commitment. Counties are Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Harrison, Kanawha, Lewis, Logan, Marion, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Preston, Roane, Summers, Taylor , Wayne and Webster.

  • In addition, the Justice Government also issued an executive order on December 14, 2022, which allows individuals who have retired from DHHR to return on a limited basis while continuing to receive their full retirement.


As of December 31, 2022, of the 518 positions allocated for Child Protection Services, there are 160 vacant positions. Of the 126 positions assigned to Youth Services, 45 are vacant. Of the 116 positions allocated to adult protective services positions, 27 are vacant.

“We have struggled for years with increasing workloads and the complex nature of the demands of the CPS, YS and APS systems,” said Cammie Chapman, Assistant Secretary for Child and Adult Services. “I am grateful for the Justice government’s focus on meeting the needs of our department, our staff, and the people of West Virginia who need these essential services.”

Those interested in applying for one of these positions can to apply or attend one of the many job fairs that are held throughout the state. For a complete list of job fairs, visit https://dhhr.wv.gov/Pages/Career-Opportunities.aspx or email DHHRJobs@wv.gov. Individuals currently enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s degree program in social work may receive tuition assistance. please contact DHHREAP@wv.gov or by calling 304-558-6700 for more information.

For more detailed information, visit the West Virginia Child Protection Dashboard.

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