Community Services Programs

Mental Health Agency Licensing Standards; Introduction

"A regulation is justifiable if it offers more advantage than the economic waste that it entails. Voluntary standards, if they exist, may avoid government regulation. One of the first advantages of standardization is that it enables public authorities to limit regulations to cases where compulsion is essential. Standardization thus economizes on the making of regulations. Government departments are thereby relieved of a mass of detailed work based on thousands of minor decisions." ¹

The Division of Licensing of Maine's Health and Human Services (DHHS) is responsible for conducting licensing reviews of mental health services in the State of Maine. The mission of the Division of Licensing is as follows:

To assure the public trust in the mental health and mental retardation service delivery systems, through the application of effective, efficient, equitable, and predictable monitoring, evaluation and improvement processes. Licensing seeks to assure that agencies have an adequate capacity to provide services. It evaluates agency and client management practices, including compliance with client rights protocols. 

Given this mission and philosophy, the Division of Licensing has developed these Licensing Standards and Guidelines. These standards and guidelines are the product of over four years of work by a variety of individuals including consumers, family members, providers, legislators, advocates, consultants, BDS staff, and representatives from other state departments and bureaus.

¹ Deming, W. Edwards: Out of the Crisis, Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
pp. 298-299, 1982