Thursday, April 19, 2018

Child welfare computer system taken down after "suspicious traffic"

The company that runs the state's child welfare services took its entire computer network offline Monday after finding suspicious traffic on it.

In a blog post Wednesday, KVC Health Systems explained its IT team took the network down "within minutes" of spotting the problem. The outage knocked offline employees' email, applications, as well as the shared files. It even affected some phone lines.

More >> Child welfare computer system taken down after "suspicious traffic"

Sunday, April 15, 2018

DHHS reviews child abuse cases it contracted out

Maine’s child welfare program is revisiting six-and-a-half months of child abuse reports it received and referred to contractors who intervene in “lower-risk” abuse and neglect cases.


The Office of Child and Family Services earlier this month asked the four contractors who handle those lower-risk cases to comb through their records dating back to last Aug. 31 and re-report to the state many of the families whose cases they were assigned. The state would then review those cases.

More >> DHHS reviews child abuse cases it contracted out

Friday, April 13, 2018

Maine House Passes Conversion Therapy Ban After Fiery Debate

Passions boiled over during a debate in the Maine House over a bill to ban conversion therapy, causing the House speaker to suspend debate at one point so tensions could simmer before members cast their vote.

More >> Maine House Passes Conversion Therapy Ban After Fiery Debate

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Maine House votes to save child abuse prevention program



The Maine House on Tuesday voted to rescue a $2.2 million child abuse prevention program in an effort to overturn attempts by the LePage administration to terminate it.

The bill to save the Community Partnerships for Protecting Children has attracted bipartisan support, with Democratic lawmakers joined by Republican Senate Majority Leader Michael Thibodeau and Republican Sen. Amy Volk of Scarborough. The measure, approved by voice vote, and will now go to the Maine Senate.

More >> Maine House votes to save child abuse prevention program

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Maine adoption fight pits two families who love a little girl. Only one could take her home.




In a case badly mishandled by the state, two families with legitimate claims and lots of love for a little girl are thrust into an emotionally devastating adoption battle.

More >> Maine adoption fight pits two families who love a little girl. Only one could take her home.

Friday, April 6, 2018

New Tool in Investigating Child Abuse Cases Could Lead to 'False Negatives'

When a suspected case of child abuse or neglect in Maine is reported to the state, it is the state's job to decide whether to open an investigation. A year ago, the Maine Office of Child and Family Services started using a new tool to help caseworkers make these decisions. But some professionals who frequently report suspected abuse say they're worried that the state is no longer investigating all of the cases it should, leaving some children in unsafe situations. 
More >> New Tool in Investigating Child Abuse Cases Could Lead to 'False Negatives'
Maine's DHHS workers aren't too bright.  So I can see where it would be common where they would screw it up.

On the flip side, I'm sure a lot of families are wrongfully torn apart too.

Lawmakers Consider Bills To Repeal Parts - Or All - Of Maine's 'Proficiency-Based' Education Law

Maine's transition to "proficiency-based" high school diplomas is under increasing scrutiny from parents, educators - and now, lawmakers.  The state Department of Education is proposing a bill that it says would repeal pieces of the law and grant more flexibility to local districts.

Ninth graders in Maine are set to be the first graduating class to receive "proficiency-based" diplomas.  They will have to be "proficient" in up to eight subjects, including math, English and science, in order to graduate. But the policy has been delayed in the past and questioned by key stakeholders.


More >> Lawmakers Consider Bills To Repeal Parts - Or All - Of Maine's 'Proficiency-Based' Education Law

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Lawmakers told Maine must reassess how it deals with children who commit crimes

Three experts in juvenile justice urged lawmakers on Wednesday to do a top-to-bottom assessment of how the state responds to troubled children.

The recommendation came during a joint meeting of two legislative committees to discuss ongoing problems at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, the state’s only correctional facility for youths, where a suicide by a transgender teen in 2016 and turmoil among the staff have highlighted what advocates say is a failing model of rehabilitating children accused of crimes.

More >> Lawmakers told Maine must reassess how it deals with children who commit crimes

Lisbon man charged with terrorizing after threat to blow up DHHS building

I am posting this because there are pretty much two possibilities for why this guy might be so angry at DHHS.  The first is that he was denied benefits, the 2nd is that DHHS took his kid.  I'm operating on the assumption that one of these might be true and therefore it would be relevant.
Police arrested a Lisbon man Wednesday and charged him with terrorizing after threats were made to blow up a building. 
Lisbon Police say they received a tip Wednesday that Alexander Hanks, 24, of 30 Sabattus Creek Drive, Lisbon threatened on social media to blow up a Department of Health and Human Services building. Police contacted DHHS and began an investigation, according to a statement from the Lisbon Police. 
More >> Lisbon man charged with terrorizing after threat to blow up DHHS building
Perhaps we'll know more later?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Maine to consider 'red flag law'

Several states have debated similar red flag laws in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

More >> Maine to consider 'red flag law'

Marissa Kennedy and Kendall Chick Are This Years Springboards For Child Abuse Propaganda Month in Maine



With these two cases still fresh in the minds of the emotion junkies who want DHHS to snatch more kids more quickly from their parents and make them harder to get back after comes National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  This is the number one month for all of the private agencies who profit from work with abused children and their families to hold their fundraisers Awareness Campaigns.  There will be blue pinwheel gardens and candle light vigils and ceremonies and on and on all across the country.
Two high profile child abuse cases in Maine, the deaths of Kendall Chick and Marissa Kennedy, left many Mainers wondering how and why it happened.

But one organization is looking ahead, not back. 
The Maine Children's Trust oversees child abuse and neglect councils in every one of Maine's sixteen counties. 
Source >> Maine Children's Trust kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month
Unfortunately this year we have two recent and horrific child abuse cases which they will certainly be harping on and more people will come out to give because of it.  And ultimately, there will be a spike in the number of foster kids in Maine.







Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Lawmakers: LePage gag order means we can’t tell if DHHS is doing its job

Lawmakers on the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee say they can’t complete a review of the department they oversee because no one from the department would come talk to them about it.

Last Thursday’s House calendar included a letter, signed by co-chairs Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, and Rep. Patricia Hymanson, D-York, stating that their committee “was unable to engage in direct dialogue with any members of the department,” despite all other committees having the opportunity to do so.

More >> Lawmakers: LePage gag order means we can’t tell if DHHS is doing its job

Monday, April 2, 2018

Tests show no pot in cookies that Bangor day care staff said got them high, police say



I would love it if the parents involved in this case could reach out to me for comment.  I would like to know what the police and daycare put them through.  If anybody has any insight into this, I would love to hear from them.

The cookies that a dozen Bangor day care staffers believed got them high in February did not contain any illicit substances, investigators said Monday.
About a quarter of the 44-person staff at Bangor’s Watch Me Shine day care reported feeling intoxicated Feb. 14 after they ate Valentine’s Day cookies dropped off by a parent, the center’s director said.
More >> Tests show no pot in cookies that Bangor day care staff said got them high, police say
As for the staff at this particular daycare...  They weren't high, just stupid.

It would be wise to avoid www.WatchMeShine.net.  They'll report anything.