March 20, 2018 – The second meeting of this year’s Maine’s Children’s Caucus focused on the current preliminary data around child abuse neglect and prevention in the state. Co-chairs Senator Rebecca Millett and Representative Matt Pouliot welcomed guest speaker Kate Perkins, Executive Director of the Maine Children’s Trust, to present key points of the organization’s draft 2017 annual report.
Maine Legislators learned about the 2017 draft data on child abuse, neglect, and prevention in Maine. The Maine Children’s Trust works regionally to provide support and funding for services for families to help prevent abuse and neglect before it starts.
Ms. Perkins gave legislators an overview of how services and programs are offered through the Maine Children’s Trust (MCT). Each county in the state has a Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council (CANs), which work regionally to directly facilitate programs and services within their communities. MCT helps support these CANs by providing training and funding to them.
For more detail on the numbers presented, see the full data provided by the Maine Children’s Trust here on Number of Child Maltreatment Victims Per County and Trends by State and County by Type of Abuse. Please note: the 2017 data is preliminary, as there are still 25 open cases. The numbers account only for substantiated cases, not reports “not indicated” or “not-substantiated.” All data is provided by the Office of Child and Family Services, Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
Attending legislators also learned more about the value and function of the following prevention programs, which MCT facilitates across the state:
- Strengthening Maine Families – MCT promotes and delivers training to professionals providing direct services to support families through the development of protective factors.
- The Period of PURPLE Crying – This is a statewide program MCT coordinates to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome. 100% of Maine birthing facilities reported delivering this vital information to every birth family at their facility.
- Maine Families Home Visiting – This is a voluntary statewide program for pregnant women, expectant couples, parents, and caregivers of children birth-3. Highly trained specialists working through local agencies provide services to ensure safe homes, health and well-being of young children, and connections to needed services. This program is one of the state’s most vital cost-saving investments for improving childhood health and learning outcomes, and preventing child abuse and neglect.
- Infant Safe Sleep Initiatives – This program provides training and materials in infant safe sleep for new parents.
- Text4Baby – The strength of this free, easy-to-use program lies in its ability to get the most essential health information to mothers in need quickly and easily. Staff routinely monitor and analyze data collected by the program. These data are reviewed to inform and improve program promotional, outreach, and product strategies.
You can read more about these critical abuse and neglect prevention and support programs here.
Kate Perkins of Maine Children’s Trust