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Measuring What We Do

The Maine Governor’s Children’s Cabinet has identified and tracked trend data over the past six years relative to outcomes relating to children, youth, and families in Maine.

Maine Marks is a set of social indicators that reflect the well-being of Maine children, families and communities. It is an initiative of the Governor's Children's Cabinet in partnership with the University of Southern Maine and other organizations.

History

The purpose of the Maine Marks for Children, Families and Communities is to develop and report on a set of indicators that government, citizens and interested groups can use to track the well-being of the state’s children, families and communities. These indicators are aligned with the vision and outcomes of the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet. The first edition of the Marks was released in February of 2001; the current 2006 edition represents the most current available data, in most cases including data through 2005.

Moving Forward

Although Maine Marks has and will continue to provide a broad range of indicators across family, community, regional, and state domains, the Children’s Cabinet felt it was time to develop a “tracking tool” from which to communicate its value, as an interagency, coordinating, collaborative policy and program delivery leadership body.

In Augusta of 2006, the Children’s Cabinet enlisted the expertise of the Forum on Youth Investment’s Karen Pittman and Elizabeth Gaines to facilitate the development of the “dashboard” tool to shift us from reporting trend data to prioritizing cross-cutting initiatives related to systems priorities, which can be defined in terms of their relationship to specific agency/stakeholder activities (Who is doing what, where and how?), performance measures (How are we doing), investments (What are we spending and from what source?), measurable outcomes (What has changed, as a direct result of efforts/investments?), policy implication (How does the outcome data inform policy change?).

Working Together for Maine Children and Families