Maine Justice for Children Task Force
The Maine Justice for Children Task Force (“the Task Force”) is a collaborative, multidisciplinary task force. The Maine Judicial Branch convened it to improve safety, permanency, and well-being for children in the State of Maine child welfare system. Task Force membership consists of representatives from the legislative, judicial, executive branches, and other participants, including advocates for children, parents, and individuals involved in the child welfare system.
Members of the Task Force are responsible for:
- Recognizing strengths within the child welfare system positively affects children’s safety, permanency, and well-being in the State of Maine child welfare system.
- Identifying barriers within the child welfare system that harm children’s safety, permanency, and well-being in the State of Maine child welfare system.
- Determining the order to identify barriers should be addressed and develop joint solutions to remove the child welfare system’s obstacles.
- Recommending training needs of child welfare stakeholders.
To accomplish these goals, the Task Force:
- Holds regular meetings with all stakeholders.
- Establishes a timeline and steps for how to accomplish identified goals.
- Monitors and evaluates progress toward achieving established goals.
- Provides information and data on how quickly and effectively the state is responding to child welfare matters.
- Created subcommittees to focus on identified needs, including Continuing Education.
The membership of the Task Force includes:
- The Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
- Child advocates, including Guardians ad Litem or Court, Appointed Special Advocates.
- Parents and their advocates, including attorneys.
- Judges and attorneys involved in civil and criminal court proceedings related to child abuse and neglect.
- Individuals representing the law enforcement community.
- Healthcare and mental health professionals.
- Individuals representing child protective service agencies.
- Individuals experienced in working with children with disabilities.
- Tribal representatives.
- Adults who were victims of child abuse or neglect.
- Individuals experienced in working with homeless children and youth.
- The Chief Justice appoints other individuals.
The Task Force issues an annual report to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. For more information about the Maine Justice for Children Task Force, please contact us.