West Virginia Agency Looking to Outsource Foster Care System

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia agency says it is seeking an outside vendor to take over the state’s foster care and adoption system.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Department of Health and Human Resources released its bid for the managed care organization (MCO). The move is billed as a way to help streamline care for children in state custody and adoptive families.

DHHR deputy secretary Jeremiah Samples says the three-and-a-half-year contract would be about $200 million per year.

The state’s move to an MCO comes after lawmakers passed a bill requiring DHHR to transfer children in foster care to an MCO by January 2020.

This came after the Department of Justice threatened to sue the state over possible violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act within its foster system.