Senate Republicans offer proposals to reform the Office of Child and Family Services in Maine

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 9:20 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Senate Republicans gathered at the State House to offer similar proposals to the Walk A Mile In Their Shoes foundation to reform the Office of Child and Family Services.

They say there should be better data collected and the right people need to be involved, especially when it comes to child reunification and deciding when it should and should not happen.

Senate Republican Leader Trey Stewart says the treatment of foster families needs to be addressed.

He says there are good families that want to help, and the state needs to be doing what they can to empower them rather than penalize them.

“We, as the entire caucus look forward to working with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, and frankly, in the governor’s office, to come up with real meaningful solutions that are going to cut our number of child fatalities, hopefully, down to zero because that is what success looks like. Success is not more money in the budget or an expansion of government here or there. Success is when no more children are dying in the state of Maine that are within the system,” Stewart said.

In addition to providing more training for case workers, they also agree with the Walk A Mile group that it’s time to separate DHHS and the Office of Child and Family Services so there is more transparency and accountability.