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Approach and Organization

The Children’s Cabinet is dedicated to moving Maine towards better ways to address the needs of Maine’s children and families.

Former System

Renewed System

Problems reach crisis stage before action is taken.  Prevention and early intervention solve emerging problems well before they reach the crisis stage. 
Thousands of family problems receive minimal or no response either by the State or private system because of a lack of resources.  A child or family receives help the first time it is requested. 
Community and State agencies act independently of each other. Community and State agencies work collaboratively to find solutions for high needs kids with low assets. 
Schools have limited options to deal with the problems of children, culminating in policies of expulsion and suspension.  Schools and communities develop a capacity to deal with emerging problems within the school and community system. 
Juvenile cases are handled with "retributive justice". Juvenile cases are handled with "restorative justice". 
Media highlights violence. Media highlights well being of children and families. 
Voices of young people rarely heard in shaping youth policy.  Young people communicate their needs and desire in shaping policy and are heard.
  • The work of the Cabinet is accomplished through the efforts of the Commissioners and the Senior Staff representing each department, the Regional Children’s Cabinets composed of staff from each department, staff working together from each department, all working collaboratively with various local and regional partners.
  • One of the hallmarks of the Cabinet’s approach to its work is the close collaboration it has formed with the University of Maine, primarily through the Edmund S. Muskie Institute for Public Sector Innovation.