April 9, 2013

Maine Voices: We all play a role in protecting Maine's kids, supporting at-risk families

The state continues to take steps to improve its system and laws to ensure the safety of Maine's children.

By Therese Cahill-Low

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We want to support families before the risk is high because the state does not make a great parent. As much as possible, children need to be a part of a family.

Raising children is not easy, and parents may find they need support. This is where the Office of Child and Family Services wants to be involved.

I urge all Mainers to consider their role in ensuring the safety and well-being of children.

I encourage you that if you witness something that you believe is indicative of abuse or neglect to call our Child Protective Services hotline at (800) 452-1999 (Voice) 711 (Maine Relay).

The child abuse hotline is staffed 24 hours a day.

In addition, we are always looking for people who would like to make a difference in the lives of children in need by choosing to be foster or adoptive parents.

If you would like to learn more, please go to http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ocfs/cw/fosteradopt.shtml for local information, or contact one of our community partners, Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine, at http://www.affm.net/ or call 1-800-833-9786.

We must all work together to assure that Maine's children and families have the best opportunities to live safe, healthy, happy and productive lives.

Therese Cahill-Low is director of the Office of Child and Family Services for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

 – Special to the Press Herald

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