2 child welfare advocates resign from Maine ombudsman board

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Two members of the child welfare ombudsman’s board have resigned, suggesting the Maine Department of Health and Human Services isn’t receptive to oversight.

Board members Ally Keppel and James “Allie” McCormack said their resignations last week stem from longstanding concerns that were underscored by the recent deaths of four children.

The four deaths include the fatal beating of 3-year-old Maddox Williams, in Stockton Springs. His mother is in jail, charged with murder.

In response to the resignation of Keppel and McCormack, Maine Sen. Bill Diamond (D-Windham) issued the following statement:

“I appreciate the bravery of these two board members, and I commend them for their years of service to the children of Maine. Their voices add to the chorus of those calling for badly needed changes within the Office of Child and Family Services, and I hope that their statement will help others see how desperately we need action and change.”

Diamond introduced a bill that would take the Office of Child and Family services out from under DHHS.

It would create a separate Department of Child and Family Services with a goal of better protecting Maine children.

The bill received bipartisan support in the Senate, but not enough in the Maine House to become law.

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