7/26/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
Gov. Paul LePage used his weekly radio address to announce he will be calling a special summer session of the Maine Legislature.
It will be interesting to see how the logistics work out given the 2018 never-ending session is still technically still going. The session is on recess until Speaker of the Swamp Rep. Sara Gideon and RINO-in-Chief Sen. Mike Thibodeau work out a deal to continue dealing Candidate Welfare crack.
The special summer session Gov. LePage is calling will address child safety in Maine following the possibly preventable deaths of two young girls living in reportedly abusive homes.
Gov. LePage says the two deaths have shinned a spotlight on the need to reform Maine’s Child Welfare System under the Department of Health and Human Services. The Governor said the legislature needs to put the safety of Maine children first.
“I’ve personally reviewed the case files of the two girls who were killed, but I’ve also reviewed many other cases that haven’t made the news. We cannot eradicate evil; but we can do better to protect children. I want to assure the people of Maine that not only will a child in a crisis be provided the utmost protection, but also that abusers will be held accountable. Based on my review and internal DHHS reviews, we’ve already begun to make needed reforms. We’ve made changes to policies and procedures and will be recommending measures to improve staff training, reduce turnover, and prevent burnout of caseworkers. Some of the most critical reforms require statutory changes. The best reform we can make is to change the law to place the priority on what is best for the child, not family reunification. Prioritizing family reunification forces DHHS and courts to repeatedly attempt to keep vulnerable children in dangerous situations–when the best decision would be to remove the child. Government shouldn’t force a parent who is unable or refuses to take on the challenge of parenting to be responsible for a child. This leaves the child vulnerable to neglect and abuse.”
The Governor has called for several reforms to the Child Welfare System.
One of the most critical areas of reform is the MAQUIS computer system at DHHS. MAQUIS has been an issue at DHHS for more than a decade now. It’s been estimated DHHS needs $9-Million to overhaul their computer system.
Other reforms Gov. LePage is calling for include a new intake unit and 75 new caseworkers.
Gov. LePage himself suffered in an abusive home growing up.
The Governor suggested the special session would convene once the never-ending 2018 legislative session finally wraps up.
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please call 1-800-452-1999–that’s 1-800-452-1999–immediately to make a report.