Improving Maine's Child Welfare & Children's Behavioral Health System
New leadership and increased funding for foster care
Update: March 29, 2019
The Department is pleased to announce this week the appointment of Dr. Todd A. Landry as director of the Office of Child and Family Services. Dr. Landry comes to the Department with extensive expertise in child and family services, most recently serving as chief executive officer of the Lena Pope Home in Fort Worth, Texas, a nonprofit agency providing evidence-based prevention, early intervention, counseling and education programming to thousands of children and families.
From 2007 to 2009, Dr. Landry served as director of Nebraska’s Division of Child and Family Services, leading the state’s child welfare, juvenile justice, economic assistance and child support enforcement programs. Under his leadership, the Division exceeded federal standards related to the wellbeing of foster children and safely reduced the number of children in state custody through successful placements.
Dr. Landry will begin as OCFS director on April 29th.
Funding for foster care
In April of 2016, we implemented a Demonstration Project under a waiver of Title IV-E, which governs federal payments for foster care and adoption assistance. The goal of the federally approved project, called the Maine Enhanced Parenting Program (MEPP), was to serve caregivers with substance use disorders who were also in need of parenting services by co-locating intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) and parenting education. A federal evaluation of this Demonstration Project indicated no statistically significant difference in outcomes between families who participated in the services under the Demonstration Project and those who received traditional IOP and parenting education services.
Absent the waiver, Title IV-E is an entitlement program, which allows the state to access federal funding for all eligible expenses rather than operate with a fixed funding amount. An initial analysis completed within the Department estimated that ending the Demonstration Project early would result in access to an additional $3,700,000, which the Department can use to serve children and foster families.
Given the evaluation results and potential for increased funding, we decided to end the Demonstration Project. Services for clients already enrolled will continue to completion, but new clients will not be enrolled after April 1, 2019. The decision to end this program does not prevent individuals from accessing services. Caregivers may still access IOP services funded by MaineCare and we anticipate that funding for parenting education will be added to MaineCare Section 65 by this fall.