Sunday, July 24, 2016

The LePage Administration Favors Destroying Families Over Helping Children

It's no secret that the LePage administration has little sympathy for families who are struggling to make ends meet.  Here are the links to two recent news articles that discuss this...   
So it seems that our Governor Paul LePage and DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew have been denying help to families in need while leaving millions in the bank and reallocating federal funding specifically designated by law for children to programs that help the elderly.  

Taking that into consideration, it's also no secret that our Governor has been on the warpath recently against drug abusers and dealers, while taking aim at the ever growing need for drug treatment programs by doing everything in his power to destroy some of the available options by pulling funding or changing the rules so that treatment will be much harder to get...  
  • Advocates say new DHHS draft rules could shutter Maine drug treatment clinics
These are just two examples of ways that the current administration is denying help to needy families, but when you put these issues together: for example a heroin epidemic, lack of treatment programs, hungry kids living in poverty, our children suffer and that's even more unacceptable.  So instead of helping the families to get it right they simply send out the nice social workers who take the kids away and leave the parents to deal with it themselves...
Now, regarding what was written in the above article, it's wonderful that Commissioner Mayhew is once again showing her fake heartwarming concern for the children by allowing her cronies to rip them from their homes while trying to find them new ones and everything.  This isn't the first time she's engaged in foster parent recruitment.  The cost of this, however, is significantly more than the alternative which is to provide the help and services that help the parents overcome the problems?   Maine has experienced successes with programs like "Family Treatment Drug Court" in the past...  
There are also similar successful programs that we could look at from other states for new ideas...
Because often times they are successful and when they are, these are the best possible outcomes for the kids.  It was those types of services that led to Maine's being a "National Model Child Welfare System" as little as 5 years ago, thanks to the previous administration...
Foster care is not a good situation for a child to grow up.  I hate to be the one to have to enlighten you, but if a parent gets hooked or can't put food on the table, that's what will eventually happen.  I realize that many of you may think that it's perfectly acceptable to remove a kid from their parents because one got hooked on opiates or because a family can't take care of a kid and if the kid is truly in danger then so be it, but then what?  Do we bounce the kid through the system?  From home to home?  Throw him into a group home?  Maybe we can adopt them out to a loving family if they're lucky, right?  Fat chance for some kids.  

I also realize that many of you don't like TANF or the various welfare programs that help to lift a family up because of the cost to the taxpayer, but when the money comes in from the fed's, that money should be allocated to solving problems caused by child poverty because that's what helps the kids.  AS for the 10% of funding that can be relocated to programs that help kids, parental drug treatment programs would be a much better option than services for the elderly, I'm not saying that the elderly don't need or deserve the help either, but that's simply not what this specific federal funding is for.  That money will have to come from someplace else.
Governor LePage and DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew really need to get their priorities straight, either that or LePage should fire Mayhew and hand the reigns over to somebody with half a clue and somewhat of a heart.  After all, shouldn't compassion be a quality in a DHHS Commissioner?  

    Friday, July 22, 2016

    Former Biddeford police officer denies sexual abuse allegations

    The former Biddeford police officer accused of sexually abusing a teenager denies the allegation and says accuser Matt Lauzon is telling “a deliberate lie.”

    More >> Former Biddeford police officer denies sexual abuse allegations

    Tuesday, July 19, 2016

    Superintendents essentially plead for education commissioner. Too bad, LePage says.

    Maine law requires the state to have a commissioner of the Department of Education. However, the department’s top job has not officially been filled for nearly two years. Frustrated by a lack of clarity and guidance on issues ranging from student testing to school funding, superintendents wrote to Gov. Paul LePage to encourage him to appoint a permanent education commissioner.

    The governor’s response: I have who I want running the department, and he’ll stay there until I leave office. The problem is that his choice, Bill Beardsley, isn’t the commissioner because LePage refuses to follow the requirements outlined in state law. More troubling, last week LePage stepped in to deny a lawmaker’s request for information from the department.

    More >> Superintendents essentially plead for education commissioner. Too bad, LePage says.

    Saturday, July 16, 2016

    Former Naples school teacher pleads guilty to sexually touching student

    A former Lake Regional Middle School teacher will face a year of administrative probation, after she pleaded guilty Wednesday at the Oxford County courthouse to having sexual contact with a student.

    More >> Former Naples school teacher pleads guilty to sexually touching student

    Need for Foster Parents Rises As LePage Cuts Services To Families While Drug Epidemic Grows

    “These children need foster families, adoptive families and kinship families that are ready and willing to open their heart and homes to them,” says Mary Mayhew, Commissioner of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services.

    More >> Need for Foster Parents Rises As Drug Epidemic Grows

    Wednesday, July 6, 2016

    More Maine children live in poverty, fewer get help. We should expect the opposite.

    Ensuring Maine’s prosperous future begins with making sure our youngest residents have the opportunities that promote healthy development. Unfortunately, the Bangor Daily News reported recently that federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds, which are intended to help low-income families with children, may have been redirected to programs for the elderly. If this is the case, officials from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services have made it more difficult for working families to get out and stay out of poverty. While funding services for elderly and disabled Mainers is important, it is critical that federal TANF dollars be used for their statutorily mandated purpose under federal law, which is to “provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes.”

    More >> More Maine children live in poverty, fewer get help. We should expect the opposite.