Thursday, March 2, 2017

Maine's DHHS has a Serious Rat Problem but doesn't want to call it that

In a surprisingly in depth article from the Bangor Daily News, it has come out that Maine's Child Abuse Hotline apparently isn't equip to handle the volume of calls coming in these days.
The state’s child abuse hotline wasn’t able to answer about 1,000 calls per month on average last year, increasing the possibility of injuries to children that otherwise could have been prevented. 
More >> 1,000 calls per month to Maine’s child abuse hotline went unanswered last year
Oh my God!  This is horrible!  Imagine all of those poor abused and neglected children going without the help that they may so desperately need.

Now usually I would point to something like this as a more typical DHHS incompetence or collateral damage from LePage era budget cuts, but this one is more concerning because in addition to another DHHS failure, it points out that Maine has around 55,000 people rushing out to make that call every year.

For the sake of argument, some would suggest that a high number of calls to the child abuse hotline would be a good thing because it means that concerned citizens are looking out for all of the poor abused and neglected children right?   I would even agree with that if not for the fact that most of these people don't know the difference between child abuse and a hole in the ground.

Lets take a closer look at my point.  According to the BDN Article mentioned above...
In 2015, 33 percent of calls — 17,907 out of 54,179 — weren’t answered on the first try. And in 2014, 32 percent of callers — 17,514 out of 55,041 — either hung up or went to voicemail.
However according to an Office of Child and Family Services report, in 2014 Maine only had 2392 substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect, while in 2015 there were only 2148.

To clarify:

In the year 2014:  There were 55,041 calls to the child abuse hotline in Maine that resulted in 2392 confirmed cases of child maltreatment.

In the year 2015:  There were 54,179 calls to the child abuse hotline in Maine that resulted in 2148 confirmed cases of child maltreatment.  

(Page 10)

What this all means folks is that if the state is reporting accurate numbers, then when you apply the math only about 4% of calls to the child abuse hotline in Maine result in confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect.  IOW, out of 54,179 calls to DHHS in 2015, about 52,031 didn't result in squat.  Therefore there are about 52,000 concerned citizens in Maine who apparently deserve to be smacked upside the head every year.

So as you can see the problem isn't so much with an overburdened child abuse hotline as it is with the number of idiots who are overburdening it, because they decide to make that call without having a clue in regards to what constitutes child abuse or neglect or the balls to follow through with the report.  Because of that, there are probably little children in Maine who really are abused and neglected who are falling through the cracks because DHHS is too busy sorting through all the crap from all of the false accusing idiot CPS Rats on a moral superiority trip.

And that my friends is the real problem.

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