Paul LePage has instructed DHHS to end funding for the Community Partnership for Protecting Children at a time when child abuse rates in Maine are on the rise. Contact your local reps and urge them to continue funding the program and to address the lack of funding and resources within DHHS.
At a time when Mainers are reeling over the deaths of two young girls due to child abuse, Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently announced plans to discontinue funding the Community Partnership for Protecting Children. The program addresses underlying causes of child abuse in Maine through a network of social service providers, law enforcement, schools, and communities in 12 counties, by strengthening families and protecting children. In South Portland alone, more than 1,600 people receive help each year. The LePage administration claims the initiative is redundant to the Child Abuse and Neglect Councils of Maine run by the Maine Department of Corrections. LePage also claims that the program is not evidence based, despite the CDC listing the kind of work CPPC does as a science based protective factor in reducing cases of abuse. Maine’s two recent child abuse deaths are raising questions about inadequate resources within LePage’s DHHS system, adding to the Governor’s long and shameful record of neglecting the welfare of Maine’s most vulnerable children. Poverty is a major contributing factor to abuse and neglect of children, significantly increasing the risk of fatality in abuse cases. Under LePage:
Maine’s child poverty rate increased 8 times faster than the national average
Cases of confirmed child abuse have increased by 52%
Maine is the only state in the nation where infant mortality has increased
1 in 5 Maine children suffer food insecurity
Contact your local reps and urge them to renew the $2.2 million in funding for the Community Partnership for Protecting Children, and to take immediate action to address funding shortages within DHHS.
Speak out about this issue on social media! When you do, use the hashtag #ProtectMaineChildren to show your support for CPPC.