BANGOR, Maine (WABI) – The LePage administration plans to end a child abuse prevention program.
The Governor’s office says the $2.2 million Community Partnerships for Protecting Children Program has the same goals as the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Councils.
But non-profits that use the program say that’s not true.
CPPC partnered with schools, non-profits, police, and others to identify and help families at risk of abuse and neglect.
The state contract is set to end in September with more than 5 non-profits, including Penquis in Bangor.
Heidi LeBlanc of Penquis says she was notified three weeks ago funding for the program would not be renewed.
She says it’s a devastating loss to a community she says greatly benefitted from this resource.
“100% of those families who had their children taken away were unified. And it’s a real comprehensive impact because when we’re looking at child abuse, sometimes it’s the parents stressors that need to be managed, not just, do you know how to discipline your child. There’s a lot of good work being done. I think families have gained some skills and some resources that perhaps they would not have access to otherwise.”
LeBlanc says the Parent Partner component to CPPC is critical because it paired an individual who had been through similar circumstances with an at risk family.
It’s that shared connection that she says helped families maintain a stable environment for their children.
We spoke with the Governor’s office Thursday. We’re told they’re meeting with DHHS and the providers to see if they can continue the Parents as Partners Program under TANF and what the cost of that might be.
Governor LePage referenced his experience growing up in an abusive household, saying:
“A clear and effective child abuse reporting structure and intervention protocol is key to preventing further abuse and potentially saving the life of a child.”