Blog | January 30, 2020

Maine Legislative Children’s Caucus

Maine OCFS director explains newest initiatives for childcare

On January 14th, the Maine Legislative Children’s Caucus hosted its first of five children’s caucuses for 2020. The Children’s Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral caucus discussed the current work of the Office of Child and Family Services (OCSF). The presentation by Dr. Todd A. Landry, Director of OCSF at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services focused on the newest initiatives and priorities in improving the availability and effectiveness of services across the system of care which is likely to improve outcomes for Maine’s children and families.

Maine State Director Kim Gore attended Dr. Landry’s discussion on the newest initiatives on early childhood education, Governor Mills’ Children’s Cabinet, OCFS’ priorities, children’s behavioral health, and child welfare. The caucus was attended by nine state senators, 23 state representatives, and several other guests focused on ways to positively impact children from birth to age 8, their families, and provide a safe and healthy environment to nurture their early learning and to enhance their well-being.

In Maine, there were 2,224 children in state custody, 1,547 children in family foster homes and 4,797 children across the state are receiving child care subsidy and as of 1/3/20, 18,863 children throughout the state are authorized to receive at least one MaineCare Children’s Behavioral Health Service.

The Children’s Cabinet is particularly focused on three priorities with regard to child care: access, quality, and workforce development.

Dr. Todd A. Landry, Director of the Office of Child and Family Services

In order to provide positive results based on these statistics, OCFS has made the reunifications of families a priority. The Maine Legislative Children’s Caucus is currently involved in work across state government and within community groups to develop strategies to improve both the accessibility and affordability of high-quality early childhood education. High-quality early childhood education is considered to be one of the most effective protective factors in preventing child abuse and neglect and strengthening families.

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