Children in Maine Department of Health and Human Services care or custody

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Why This Indicator Matters

Why It Is Important
Children thrive when they have stable homes with their families of origin. When children experience frequent maltreatment at any point during their childhood, it can have lasting effects. That is why it is important to have a robust child welfare system to support children and families in crisis. The state takes custody of children when due to abuse or neglect, a family is not safely able to care for their children. Custody of the state is meant to be temporary until the parents are able to safely care for their children or until a permanency plan through guardianship or adoption can be made.

What The Data Shows
The number of children in the custody of the state of Maine was at a fifteen year low in December 2011 and since then has been rising until 2017. In 2017, there were 275 fewer children in the custody of the state of Maine than in 2016. The rate of youth in state custody is more than twice as high in some counties compared to others. Somerset and Kennebec have had rates around 12 per 1,000 children in the years 2013 -2016, while Sagadahoc and Lincoln Counties have had rates of around 4 per 1,000 children.

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