MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Groups that work with troubled West Virginia children want lawmakers to support a bill requiring all state agencies to use a new standardized evaluation tool that could improve both placements and inter-agency communication.
Supporters say the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths assessment has already been tailored to West Virginia's needs and will help ensure the many agencies that deal with kids in crisis are working from the same playbook.
Kathy Szafran of Wheeling-based Crittenton Services says the legislation grew from meetings of the West Virginia Child Care Association.
She says it will help children get the care they most need, and it will generate data for a database West Virginia University would maintain. That could then help policymakers and others spot trends and better allocate services to tackle them.