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