Monday, March 18, 2019

Maine woman arrested in Beverly, charged with kidnapping 2 children

A 28-year-old woman wanted for kidnapping her two children from Maine was arrested in a home here after a "Be On the Lookout" alert was issued.

Brittany Bohan, 28, was apprehended Monday by Massachusetts State Police. She was charged with being a fugitive from justice and on a court warrant and will be arraigned Tuesday in Salem District Court, police said.

More >> Maine woman arrested in Beverly, charged with kidnapping 2 children

Friday, March 15, 2019

Mother of Ayla Reynolds asks court for more time to find girl’s father



The mother of missing Maine toddler Ayla Reynolds is asking for more time to find the little girl’s father.

An attorney for Trista Reynolds told CBS 13 a request was filed in court for an additional 60 days to find Justin DiPietro.

More >> Mother of Ayla Reynolds asks court for more time to find girl’s father

Saturday, March 9, 2019

DHHS Commissioner Outlines Plan To Improve Child Protective Services

State officials told members of the legislature's Government Oversight Committee Friday that improvements to the child protective system are underway. The panel held a public hearing on the latest report following the abuse deaths of two girls last winter, which details a number of concerns raised by caseworkers. Some lawmakers and citizens say they want more to be done, and soon.

According to the report, the top concerns reported include large caseloads and a shortage of foster placements, which means caseworkers often spend hours or days with children in hotels and emergency rooms. Child protective workers are also frustrated that changes in protective services were made without their input in the wake of the deaths of two girls.

More >> DHHS Commissioner Outlines Plan To Improve Child Protective Services

FYI: They are all clueless.  What they need to do is to provide the services that help to keep kids safe in the home so they don't have the foster care system flooded with frivolous cases. 


Friday, March 1, 2019

Political advocacy in classroom ban, cursive bill, both fail

Two bills have failed in committee that would have made changes to Maine schools. One would have banned teachers from engaged in political or ideological advocacy in the classroom. The other would have required students in elementary school learn cursive.

More >> Political advocacy in classroom ban, cursive bill, both fail

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Flaws in Maine’s child protection system frustrate frontline workers, report says

The Legislature’s watchdog agency reported Friday that Maine’s child protective system is hobbled by overburdened caseworkers, staffing shortages, inefficient computer systems and a lack of foster families that forces caseworkers to supervise abused or at-risk children in hotels and hospitals for long periods.

 The findings, based on a survey and interviews with staff in the Office of Child and Family Services, are part of a new report to the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee that follows the deaths of two children in 2017 and 2018.

More >> Flaws in Maine’s child protection system frustrate frontline workers, report says

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Lawmakers, educators introduce bill to stop "food shaming" in public schools

Lawmakers are once again introducing a bill to stop so-called "food shaming" in schools, saying students who can't pay for their meals are being singled out.

"I know they can't learn without it. I know they struggle," said Dea Swain, who works as an ed tech in Aroostook County.

More >> Lawmakers, educators introduce bill to stop "food shaming" in public schools

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.

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

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

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

First review in two decades shows all the ways Maine failed kids with mental health problems

A private consulting firm has concluded that Maine can do far more to serve children with behavioral and mental health needs, after finishing a wholesale review of services in the state.

After five months of interviews, data analysis, surveys and town hall meetings, Boston-based Public Consulting Group determined that services are often not available immediately or at all for children with behavior and conduct disorders, autism, developmental delays, depression or anxiety, post-traumatic stress and attention deficit disorder.

More >> First review in two decades shows all the ways Maine failed kids with mental health problems

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Gov. Janet Mills said she wants to bring back the Children’s Cabinet. Here’s what that is.

What have we gotten ourselves into?  



During the past year, the violent deaths of two little girls and the prevalence of mental illness among teens in Maine’s youth prison have stoked worries about how the state cares for its kids.

The prominence of these concerns earned them a place in the inauguration speech of Gov. Janet Mills. But the Democrat’s first move to address complex issues that span the work of different state agencies will likely be obscure to most Mainers.

More >> Gov. Janet Mills said she wants to bring back the Children’s Cabinet. Here’s what that is.