Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Maine has more work to do to help families in crisis

The Maine Legislature has increasingly recognized the important role that extended family members can play in the lives of kids whose parents are unable to take care of them. But these relative caregivers are still not receiving all of the help they need.

As we’ve seen in headlines in recent years, many Maine families are facing tough questions about the care of children whose parents are struggling with substance use disorders and related problems such as homelessness, poverty, illness, and incarceration. Members of children’s extended family — grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings — frequently need to step in, often in emergencies, to take them into their care. In some cases, the relatives do so at the request of the Department of Health and Human Services, and in others, the family attempts to address the child’s needs on its own.

More >> Maine has more work to do to help families in crisis

Report: Number Of Abused and Neglected Maine Children Rose Last Year

More than 2,600 Maine children were abused in 2018, according to a report published this month by the state’s Child Protective Services. That’s a nearly 25 percent increase from the year before, but officials say the higher number is not surprising.

Increased awareness after the high-profile deaths of 4-year-old Kendall Chick and 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy likely drove the spike in referrals of suspected abuse to the state in 2018, according to the report.

More >> Report: Number Of Abused and Neglected Maine Children Rose Last Year

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Governor Signs Bill Lowering Compulsory School Attendance to Age 6

On June 28, Governor Janet Mills signed a bill dropping the starting age for compulsory school attendance in Maine from age 7 to age 6, effective September 19, 2019. As before, if a child age 5 is enrolled in public school, the child is subject to compulsory attendance until he is withdrawn.

What a difference a governor can make.

More >> Governor Signs Bill Lowering Compulsory School Attendance to Age 6

Monday, July 22, 2019


The man charged with beating 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy to death back in February of 2018 is expected to plead guilty Monday afternoon in Waldo County Superior Court.

More >> Marissa Kennedy's accused killer to face judge, plead guilty Monday

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Court Documents: Julio Carrillo To Plead Guilty In Stepdaughter’s Death

The stepfather accused of killing 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy last year will change his plea to guilty.

Court documents filed Monday indicate that Julio Carrillo will enter his plea in Waldo County Superior Court next week. Carrillo initially pleaded not guilty when he was charged with depraved indifference murder last year.

More >> Court Documents: Julio Carrillo To Plead Guilty In Stepdaughter’s Death

Monday, July 15, 2019

Anonymous reporting tool gains traction in Maine schools

After a student party marking the end of the school year a few weeks ago, a report came in to officials in Kennebunk’s Regional School Unit 21 about a video of two high schoolers who appeared to be drinking and repeating variations of a racial slur.

The video might have disappeared and never been brought to the attention of school administrators, but instead it was saved and reported through a new anonymous reporting system the district implemented in November.

More >> Anonymous reporting tool gains traction in Maine schools

Sunday, July 14, 2019

A Buxton man faces several charges after police said he pushed two Maine Department of Health and Human Services caseworkers at his home as part of an investigation.

Buxton and Saco Police were on scene with the caseworkers at a home on Town Farm Road when George Casey, 63, came home.

More >> Buxton man arrested after police say he pushed DHHS caseworkers

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Maine to improve ombudsman program for child welfare service

Maine has enacted a proposal designed to improve child welfare services by providing resources to an ombudsman program.

The state established the Child Welfare Ombudsman Program in 2001. Democratic Sen. Shenna Bellows proposed increasing funding for staffing and office space for the program.

More >> Maine to improve ombudsman program for child welfare service

Friday, July 12, 2019

Federal judge dismisses lawsuit against DHHS from mother seeking contact with her daughter



A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed an Eddington woman’s lawsuit that sought to force the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to allow her contact with her 7-year-old daughter, who in May was living with her father’s girlfriend in Ellsworth under an agency safety plan.

U.S. District Court Judge Lance Walker said the case belonged in state court because “federal courts do not have jurisdiction to issue child custody decrees.”

More >> Federal judge dismisses lawsuit against DHHS from mother seeking contact with her daughter

Monday, July 8, 2019

Maine law intends to crack down on young child expulsion

A new law in Maine is designed to prevent young children from being suspended or expelled from schools.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has signed "An Act To Promote Social and Emotional Learning and Development for Young Children" into law.

More >> Maine law intends to crack down on young child expulsion