Year of the Child
A generation of West Virginia’s kids is drowning in the devastating effects of the opioid crisis. Many have no permanent place to call home, no permanent person to call a parent, and no plan to get back on their feet. They float between government systems that they rely on for care — like schools, or foster care, or child welfare. These systems haven’t adapted to theoverwhelming needs caused by the epidemic. A growing number of kids are homeless, living in extended families, in foster care, and in residential facilities. Some even live in WVDHHR offices and hotels. And our state and communities– ill-prepared for this tsunami of need– are scrambling to care for them.
What kind of childhood is this? Who do we expect these children to become?
The “Year of the Child” campaign is a year-long event, created to form a critical mass of West Virginians who will help steer these children towards safer shores and healthier outcomes. Let’s start a statewide dialogue around their needs and how we– not just government agencies, but all of us– can coordinate our efforts, protect these children from further trauma, and produce sound policy changes that put them on the road to resilience. It will be a year-long process of listening, responding, drafting, and advocating for meaningful change.Learn More