Friday, February 15, 2019

Maine’s new DHHS chief: ‘We need to restore trust’

DHHS is the state’s most embattled — and, after education, second most expensive — department. The agency’s child welfare arm, the Office of Child and Family Services, is in the midst of an audit, commissioned last year after a government watchdog report found evidence that DHHS mismanaged the handling of abuse complaints related to the deaths of two young girls.

In a sit-down interview with the Bangor Daily News, Lambrew said she wants to restore trust and morale among department employees, broaden the state’s social service programs, and increase general department transparency.

More >> Maine’s new DHHS chief: ‘We need to restore trust’

Maybe if they stop stealing babies...

A consultant hired to review Maine’s child welfare system found these flaws

Early findings in a new report evaluating eight child welfare cases handled by Maine’s Office of Child and Family Services show a system-wide need for department improvements — a likely precursor for a more comprehensive report to come.

More >> A consultant hired to review Maine’s child welfare system found these flaws

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Report: Maine has the highest percentage of children with mental health disorders

A new study is putting Maine at the top of the list when it comes to the number of children with mental health disorders.

This revealing report was just published in a leading medical journal.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Mills seeks new director to oversee troubled child welfare system

Gov. Janet Mills’ administration is looking for a new director of the office that oversees the state’s troubled child welfare system.

The administration is conducting a national search for a director of the state’s Office of Child and Family Services, a division of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services that has lacked a permanent director since April 2017.

More >> Mills seeks new director to oversee troubled child welfare system

Monday, January 21, 2019

A young girl had to leave Maine for mental health care. It’s been 6 months.

Lora’s 15-year-old daughter is pleading to come home to Washington County by the time she turns 16.

The girl, who struggles with developmental delays, behavioral problems and aggression, is living at a youth home 1,500 miles way in Carbondale, Illinois. She’s been there since November. Before that, she spent about four months at a youth home and psychiatric hospital in Vermont.

More >> A young girl had to leave Maine for mental health care. It’s been 6 months.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Bill would end non-medical vaccine exemptions in Maine

Lawmakers in Maine will consider a bill designed to end non-medical exemptions from childhood vaccinations this year.

Maine has one of the lowest vaccination rates for children entering kindergarten. It's also home the country's highest rate of whooping cough, a dangerous disease that can be limited with the use of an easily available vaccine.

More >> Bill would end non-medical vaccine exemptions in Maine

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Maine lawmakers have blueprint for reworking youth behavioral health services

The findings of a report on the state’s youth mental health services are straightforward — and rightfully harsh.

Behavioral health services for children are not available quickly — or, sometimes, at all. Too often services are not available in the communities where the children who need them live. When Maine children do get services, the quality is inconsistent, and there is little coordination, especially as they transition to adulthood.

More >> Maine lawmakers have blueprint for reworking youth behavioral health services