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Departmental Collaboration on behalf of Children and
This information was current when the 2001 Children's
Cabinet Annual Report was released.
In addition to the initiatives launched directly by the Childrens Cabinet,
the departments collaborate on a variety of initiatives designed to improve
services to children and their families. These collaborative initiatives include:
Department of Education
- The Learning Results. The Department of Education, in collaboration
with participating educators, parents, higher education personnel , and the
business community, will continue working towards the goal that every public
school student achieves the academic standards required in Maines Learning
Results so that every student leaves school prepared for post-secondary study.
We also need to encourage communities to work toward the vision that Maine
people will be among the best educated in the world. To this end, the National
Center on Aspirations, at the University of Maine, will expand its work with
schools and the Communities for Children Leadership Councils to help children
raise their aspirations.
- Educating High Risk Youth. The Departments of Education, Human Services,
MHMRSAS, and Corrections are collaborating on improving educational opportunities
for high risk youth such as children in foster care, youth at the Maine Youth
Center, and at the Northern Maine Juvenile facility.
- Higher Education Initiative. The Department of Education has set
the goal that Maine people will rank among the highest in the nation in the
percent seeking and attaining two and four year advanced degrees, and the
percent participating in life-long learning opportunities. To achieve this
goal, the following efforts are being pursued:
- Enhancing Maines public K-12 education system on a foundation
of quality standards, high expectations for all students, and preparation
for post-secondary education study;
- Increasing coordination among Maines public higher education systems;
- Establishing a community college system through the collaboration of
the UMS, and the Maine Technical College System; and
- Establishing stronger links among systems at all levels 0-5,
K-12, and post-secondary
Department of Health and Human Services
- Medicaid Funding for Special Education Services. Staff from the Department
of Human Services worked with the MAXIMUS Corporation to secure $10-15 million
annually in Medicaid funding for Maine students who need a variety of rehabilitative
services. This infusion of federal funds for children with special needs is
a great bonus for cash-strapped schools which are under increasing pressure
to assure that all students have access to health and rehabilitative services.
- Expanded Health Insurance for Children. Maine now enjoys the fourth
highest rate of children with health insurance in the U,.S., including both
private health insurance and government-provided health insurance. Our efforts
have increased the overall rate of people with health insurance in Maine,
the opposite of national trends. With 183,000 Mainers receiving Medicaid or
Cub Care, these are the highest numbers of people receiving our health insurances
in the history of Maine. It is no accident; it is the result of the work and
creativity of the Bureau of Family Independence, Bureau of Medical Services
staff, Bureaus of Health and of Child & Family Services, as well as education
agencies, hospitals, and the regional coalition of clinics, child care, mental
health, and social service agencies.
- Family Court. Working with the Judicial system, DHS arranged
creative financing and support to allow the implementation of a new Family
Division of the District Court for Maine benefiting families and children,
parents needing child support, and others.
- Returning children from out-of-state. Special outreach and cooperative
work with the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance
Abuse Services, and the Department of Education has enabled hundreds of emotionally
disturbed Maine children previously being served in out-of-state treatment
centers to return to Maine.
- Tobacco Settlement: - Community School Grants - Goals of the grants
are to pay for interventions that reduce tobacco addiction, use, and tobacco-related
diseases through reducing tobacco use, physical inactivity, poor nutrition,
and secondary, tertiary tobacco-related disease prevention. Focus must be
on those at highest risk such as youth and disadvantaged populations. School
funding is for coordinated school health programs with a focus on comprehensive
school health education. Funds may be used for school health services.
- Community Service Center The Department of Human Services
and the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse
Services have developed an interdepartmental center to ensure the health,
safety, and well being of children, families, and individuals who need or
receive services through community-based programs, organizations, and facilities
through the coordination, purchase, and development of community services
in order to maximize self-sufficiency and minimize risk to children, families,
and individuals in Maine.
- Home Visiting Services - In response to a legislative Task Forces
recommendations, three Healthy Families home visiting pilot sites were established
by the Department of Human Services in 1996. Following this success, a new
legislative Task Force to Study Strategies to Support Parents as Childrens
First Teachers was established and staffed by DHS and the Childrens
Cabinet. The work of this Task Force led to the inclusion of expanded funding
for several home visiting models in the Tobacco Settlement funds for a Healthy
The Department serves children and youth, ages birth through 20 years, who have treatment needs related to mental illness, mental retardation, autism, developmental disabilities or emotional and behavioral needs, and who are not under current statutory authority of existing state agencies. The Departments Strategic Plan Goal is to ensure that services for children in need of services and supportive services for their families are present in Maine communities in order to promote the childrens health and development.
Childrens Services provides a range of community based services and supports through contracts with qualified providers throughout the state of Maine. The most highly used services include: outpatient; crisis services; case management; individualized flexible (wraparound) services; respite; services to homeless youth; and information and referral services for families and the public at large. Eligible children may access additional services directly through the Medicaid program.
- Chapter 790 established the Childrens Mental Health Program, effective July 1, 1998. The law directs the Department to create a structure for the coordination of childrens mental health care provided by the 4 child-serving state agencies, to include DMHMRSAS and the Departments of Human Services, Corrections and Education. The Department has lead responsibility for implementation of the program. A legislatively appointed Chapter 790 Oversight Committee oversees the progress being made in developing a comprehensive system of childrens mental health services, and advises the child-serving departments as necessary.
- MyCare is the Departments blueprint for the service delivery system which will manage the behavioral health needs and provision of care across all childrens disability groups. Regional staff will perform essential systems functions such as client enrollment, assuring program fidelity through Quality Improvement Specialists, tracking authorized services and improving access to the system through Enrollment Specialists and Family Information Specialists. MyCare is also supported through the utilization review function and new procedures to access the system.
Active collaboration among the child serving agencies to develop a system of care has been productive and effective. Substantive progress has been made on improvements to better manage behavioral health care for children and their families; specifically:
- Utilization Review Program to assure that effective and efficient service is delivered to Mainechildren and families through on-site visits and medical record reviews by qualified staff.Systems Access Program developed with DHS that requires a single point of access to crisis services and out of home placement for any child needing mental health services.Mental Health Services for Juveniles places Childrens Services mental health programcoordinator staff in DOC district offices and at the Southern Maine Juvenile Facility.Clinical Case Management developed with DHS provides mental health clinical services tostate wards; MSW mental health professionals work collaboratively in the local DHS offices.
- Interdepartmental Resource Development Planning is done with DHS, DOC and DOE to identify priority needs for all children to include new or enhanced program models.
Improved Service Coordination. The Department of Corrections, in
collaboration with other state agencies with responsibility for service to
children with special needs at the Maine Youth Center, has been working on
better service coordination and case planning. A Mental Health Coordinator
funded by the DMHMRSAS has been assigned to assist in the development and
implementation of case plans for youth with mental health needs. A Human Services
caseworker funded by the DHS has been assigned to work with all youth in DHS
custody at the Maine Youth Center;
- Increased case management services to children with mental health needs by 70% last year.
- Trained and certified 393 qualified Behavioral Specialists over last 2 years.
- Expanded in-home supports to children with behavioral needs by 700% in last 2 years.
- Reduced the census of children placed out of state by 46% over last 2 years.
- Developed standards for Case Management and Crisis Services last year.
- Provided case management services to 3,387 children in FY00.
- Improved Mental Health Services. In collaboration with the DMHMRSAS,
and with the support of the Legislature, the department will provide expanded
assessment, diagnostic, and treatment services for juvenile offenders including
psychological services to youth in the detention unit, a Mental health coordinator
for each of the four juvenile regions, an evaluation of the develop of a forensic
unit for retarded and severely mentally ill youth, an increase in treatment
funds for mental health services, and release planning for corrections youth
with Acadia Hospital and DMHMRSAS;
- Improved Substance Abuse Services. In collaboration with DOC, the
Office of Substance Abuse provides assessment and treatment counselors at
the Maine Youth Center, a substance abuse treatment counselor/coordinator
at the Northern Maine Juvenile Detention Facility, substance abuse evaluators,
and manages substance abuse treatment networks in the community;
- Research re: Juveniles who have Sexually offended - is a collaboration
with DHS which includes the development of appropriate assessment tools, research
profiling of the juveniles in Maine who have sexually offended, and the development
of best practices in treatment;
- Improved Community Placements for Juvenile Offenders. Collaborations
include development of transition services with DMHMRSAS and the City of Bangor
for youth who are homeless, and the MYC Foster Care Program for DHS youth
- Improved Educational Services. Initiatives underway with the Department
of Education including Vocational Education and Special Education teams at
Maine youth Center, collaboration on education programs to be offered in the
new juvenile facilities, Project Impact at Maine Youth Center, and special
education services at Northern Maine Juvenile Detention Facility.
- Multi-Systemic Therapy Project - This pilot project in York County
involves the Departments of Human Services, Education, and MHMRSAS in developing
a high level, intensive treatment response to high risk youth in a community
setting. The pilot is implementation of a successful model developed by Scott
Henggeler and is an approach which involves daily interactions with the youth,
their families, and community support systems.
- Drug Treatment Court Program - Funded with Federal funds administered
by the Division of Juvenile Services, the Drug Treatment Court Program is
a collaborative of the DMHMRSAS's Office of Substance Abuse, the Department
of Corrections Juvenile Field Services, and the Judiciary to intensively supervise
and treat youth who are high risk for further delinquency and have substantial
substance abuse issues.
Department of Public Safety
- State Troopers - involved with community policing projects around the state,
al dealing with youth or youth-related problems;
- Crime Lab - instrumental in the classification of childrens fingerprints
and DNA identification kits;
- Fire Marshals Office - responsible for educating youth on Juvenile
Fire Setting programs;
- Bureau of Liquor Enforcement is involved in juvenile Alcohol and Tobacco
Education & Enforcement;
- Bureau of Highway Safety instrumental in passing-through federal
funds for seatbelt and child safety seat programs, bike safety; driver education;
- All public safety issues relevant to youth; e.g. drug & alcohol, dealing
with the mentally ill; safe communities
- Collaborator with DHS et.al. in the prevention of adolescent suicide.