(a) The prosecuting attorney shall establish a multidisciplinary investigative team in each county. The multidisciplinary team shall be headed and directed by the prosecuting attorney or his or her designee and shall include as permanent members the prosecuting attorney or his or her designee, a local child protective services caseworker from the Department of Health and Human Resources; a local law-enforcement officer employed by a law-enforcement agency in the county; a child advocacy center representative, where available; a health care provider with pediatric and child abuse expertise, where available; a mental health professional with pediatric and child abuse expertise, where available; an educator and a representative from a licensed domestic violence program serving the county. The Department of Health and Human Resources and any local law- enforcement agency or agencies selected by the prosecuting attorney shall appoint their representatives to the team by submitting a written designation of the team to the prosecuting attorney of each county within thirty days of the prosecutor's request that the appointment be made. Within fifteen days of the appointment, the prosecuting attorney shall notify the chief judge of each circuit within which the county is situated of the names of the representatives so appointed. Any other person or any other appointee of an agency who may contribute to the team's efforts to assist a minor child as may be determined by the permanent members of the team may also be appointed as a member of the team by the prosecutor with notification to the chief judge.
(b) Any permanent member of the multidisciplinary investigative team shall refer all cases of accidental death of any child reported to their agency and all cases when a child dies while in the custody of the state for investigation and review by the team. The multidisciplinary investigative team shall meet at regular intervals at least once every calendar month.
(c) The investigative team shall be responsible for coordinating or cooperating in the initial and ongoing investigation of all civil and criminal allegations pertinent to cases involving child sexual assault, child sexual abuse, child abuse and neglect and shall make a recommendation to the county prosecuting attorney as to the initiation or commencement of a civil petition and/or criminal prosecution.
(d) State, county and local agencies shall provide the
multidisciplinary investigative team with any information requested
in writing by the team as allowable by law or upon receipt of a
certified copy of the circuit court's order directing said agencies
to release information in its possession relating to the child.
The team shall assure that all information received and developed
in connection with the provisions of this article remains
confidential. For purposes of this section, the term
"confidential" shall be construed in accordance with the provisions
of section one, article seven of this chapter.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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