Support State Funding to Stop Child Abuse Today (LD1874)!
The Health and Human Services Committee is expected to vote TODAY whether to fund programs that prevent child abuse. The Community Partnership for Protecting Children (CPPC) is a network of community providers and residents who are working to eliminate child abuse and neglect. They have been working together in Southern Maine for 12 years and have 62 signed partner organizations that include schools, law enforcement, faith communities, municipalities, and many social services including DHHS. The Westbrook Children’s Project works with CPPC.
CPPC coordinates community supports and services to “wrap around” parents at risk of child welfare intervention (Child Protective Services). These include formal supports – substance abuse, mental health, crisis services, financial stability (TANF, SNAP) and informal supports – faith based connections, neighbors, and community centers. CPPC brings together parents, neighbors and providers to expand and leverage existing community supports. CPPC Hubs become neighborhood centers decreasing isolation, and providing a safe and neutral place for parents and children to access basic needs such as donated food, summer youth lunch programs, healthy activities.
Here are some of the things CPPC partners have accomplished together:
- Increased the community’s investment in child safety and well-being. In 2017, community volunteers and donors invested over $300,000 in time and dollars directly into neighborhoods with the highest rates of child abuse and neglect.
- Connected families in these neighborhoods to concrete supports like food, clothing and transportation through community gathering spaces called Neighborhood Hubs. Over 1,000 community resource referrals were made through Hubs in 2017, and 92% of families connected to the Hubs reported having someone they could call when they need help.
- Helped parents with the highest levels of stress build resilience by connecting them with peers who have overcome similar challenges. Since 2009, CPPC Parent Partners have helped over 150 parents who needed to make great personal changes or risk of having their children permanently removed by child protective services. 68% of parents succeeded in accomplishing their goals and having care of their children maintained safely by their families.
- Built a community safety net for children. CPPC community partners provide support for families who are experiencing challenges but are not yet in crisis, making sure kids and families in our communities are safe and supported.
DHHS Child Protective staff are key partners in reaching CPPC’s goals. The relationships created through monthly provider meetings, community meals and events, family team meetings, and other collaborative efforts, assist DHHS staff with assessing those families at risk of child endangerment. This is accomplished by the local resources supporting the families before a crisis occurs, and quickly alerting DHHS staff if a situation needs more attention.
As Chief Roberts of the Westbrook Police Department stated in their testimony supporting this bill, “Within the last few years, the success experienced in the CPPC neighborhoods of Biddeford, Portland, South Portland, and Westbrook was recognized to the point that the State supported expanding CPPC into additional communities where the volume of children coming into DHHS custody was noticeably high. In southern Maine, this includes Sanford/Springvale and Bridgton. It doesn’t make sense that a couple years later the funding would be eliminated.”
To encourage passage of this bill (LD1874), please take a moment to click here, find your state legislator, and contact them today!