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Hampshire Co. Child Care Center Faces Child Abuse Allegations

West Virginia State Police are investigating allegations of abuse at a child care center in Hampshire County.
ROMNEY, W.Va. - West Virginia State Police are investigating allegations of abuse at a child care center in Hampshire County.  This comes after state health officials conducted their own investigation, saying staff mistreated children at the facility. 

The Potomac Center, which serves children with developmental disabilities in Romney, is facing some serious allegations as state health and human resources officials removed more than 20 children from the facility last week placing them in other environments. DHHR officials say the children were subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment by some employees. Residents are stunned by the allegations.

"I am definitely shocked about what I heard about the Potomac Center, and why who would believe that somebody could mistreat a child," said Susan Gicker, a Romney resident.

"I think it is a shame because I was an employee down there years ago," said Richard Burkett, a Romney Resident. "They were all really nice kids and if it's true, I'm glad they stepped in and did something about it."

Even though the child care services has been temporarily stopped, the center is still open with DHHR monitoring the facility on a 24-four hour basis, while state police continue the investigation.  Police and DHHR are not releasing the specifics of the alleged abuse.

"I really hope that the allegations are not true but of course, that will all come out in the wash," said Bob Campbell, a Romney resident. "I'm just not sure what to say about the kids, it's just saddening."

Potomac Center officials did not speak with us on camera, but they're contending no physical abuse occurred at the center and say they're cooperating with DHHR and state police through the investigation. Residents hope proper care will be provided to the children removed from the center.

"I just hope they get placed in good homes and get the care they need and deserve," said Burkett.

"I hope somebody get them justice for them and everything, so they won't suffer without reason," said Anthony White, a Romney Resident.

For the next couple of days, the CEO of the center will be in Charleston meeting with state officials about the child abuse allegations.

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