Tuesday, June 15, 2021
From Bangor Daily News:
Moran, the family services coordinator at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, increasingly heard from families stressed by the coronavirus pandemic, dealing with job losses and challenges of managing school or child care at home. The social connections that help protect children likely eroded and have not yet recovered, Moran fears.
The pandemic obscured a child welfare system under scrutiny after the high-profile deaths of Kendall Chick in 2017 and Marissa Kennedy months later. The number of children in state custody rose while reports nosedived and largely rebounded. Maine is struggling to implement reforms, though the state touts progress on staffing, turnover and pandemic-related challenges.
The number of incidents of abuse or neglect — adjusted for the amount of time kids spent in state custody — rose from January to June 2020 before gradually declining.
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