Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Keeping Maine's Children Connected:

An Integrated Approach to Help Children and Youth Who Experience School Disruption

Due To: Homelessness, Foster Care Placement, Correctional Facility Placement

and/or In-Patient Psychiatric Care


Challenge:  There are an increasing number of children and youth who are experiencing transitions into or out of their home, school, and community-resulting in disruptions in their education.


Solution:  The child serving state agencies are working together to develop an integrated protocol among school, districts, state agencies, correctional facilities, and in-patient psychiatric facilities so youth feel more supported as they live through difficult transitions. It is a collaborative effort among Department of Corrections, Department of Education, Muskie School of Public Service, Department of Human Services and Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services.


Who Are We Talking About?:  All youth affected by homelessness, foster care placement, correctional facility placement, and in-patient psychiatric care.


What this means for Children and Youth:

v      Improved educational outcomes through the continuity and completion of their educational program. Stability in schooling is one of the major predictors of academic success.

v      Reduced number of school transitions in each person's life.

v      Increased sense of belonging to the school and community.


What this Means for the System:

v      A standardized system of communication among state agencies, correctional facilities, in-patient psychiatric facilities and school districts through the development of an integrated protocol.

v      An increased understanding of issues and policies affecting youth who have experienced disruption in their school placement


How Does It Work:

A three-tiered approach has been developed:


1) Establish and train liaisons in each school district, state agency, correctional facility, and in-patient psychiatric facility. These liaisons along with the youth and family, will help determine who is/are the best person/team within 'the school, facility, state agency or community can assist with the plan. There will be a single statewide database listing. all the liaisons which can be easily accessed through a designated website.


2) Maintain ongoing training and meetings for the liaisons so they can remain up to date on policy changes and issues affecting youth.


3) Interagency Systems Training so staff can learn more about other disciplines and agencies.


Keeping Maine's Children Connected:


Want More Information?:

v      Christine Bartlett, Department of Education: 624-6650

v      Shelley Reed, Department of Education: 624-6637

v      Nancy Connolly, Keeping Pace, Muskie School of Public Svc: 780-5812

v      Martha Jo Nichols, Department of Corrections: 287-5069

v      Jeanne Smith, Project IMPACT, Long Creek Youth Development Ctr: 772-8700

v      Joan Cameron, Project IMPACT, Mountain View Youth Development Ctr: 285-0786

v      Frances Ryan, Department of Human Services: 822-2316

v      Sharon Kelly, Dept. Behavioral and Developmental Services: 287-4829

v      Susan Lieberman, Psychiatric Facility & School Transition Initiative: 874-5950