Special Efforts Being Made in Maine to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities

Maine is working with Eckerd Kids to implement Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback®, a real-time data analytics tool to flag high-risk child welfare cases for intensive monitoring and caseworker coaching. They are currently in the development stage.  [Recommendation 2.1]

The state’s Bridging Program is a collaborative between the Office of Child and Family Services, Public Health Nursing and the Maine Families Home Visiting Program to improve service delivery to families with a child born substance exposed. The purpose of Bridging is to improve outcomes for infants and their families by increasing coping skills, removing barriers and building on strengths utilizing all the needed supports and services within the families’ community.  [Recommendation 7.1]

The state’s Safe Sleep and Period of Purple Crying efforts are aimed at preventing serious injuries and child deaths related to unsafe sleep situations and abusive head trauma. Staff provide education to families with children under 1 year of age, complete a checklist of the child's sleep environment and review the Period of Purple Crying information and videos with them. [Recommendation 7.1c]

Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services is contracting with providers to expand Community Partnerships for Protecting Children. CPPC will support existing community networks serving families and increase the number of partnerships to address challenges and policies that may be contributing to high levels of risk of abuse and neglect within families. The effort will include analyzing children at risk and convening preventive family meetings for high-risk families. The project will increase access to and use of community support services by families at risk. [Recommendations 7.1, 7.2]

In 2016, the Legislature enacted SB 215, which requires all mandated reporters of suspected child abuse or neglect to complete training approved by the state's Department  of Health and Human Services at least once every 4 years.  [Recommendation 7.2d]