Feds, West Virginia reach deal on child mental health care

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia has agreed to expand mental health services for children to resolve a federal investigation that found the state unnecessarily institutionalized kids with emotional or behavioral disorders.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice and West Virginia announced the agreement Tuesday at a news conference.

The deal requires the state to develop and improve in-home and community-based mental health services to reduce the number of children in residential centers.

In 2015, federal investigators told West Virginia that the state wasn’t complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act by sending mentally ill children away to residential centers rather than providing community-based treatment.

The agreement says the state is committed to fixing its child mental health care system.