Child Safety and Family Well-Being

We can keep children safe by keeping families strong.

In her 2023 State of the Budget Address, Governor Mills announced the Department of Health and Human Services’ partnership with the Maine Child Welfare Action Network (MCWAN) to develop a plan to keep children in Maine safe by keeping families strong. The Governor called for this plan in recognition of the importance of preventing child abuse and neglect and limiting the need for child protective intervention.

Too often, children, youth, and families end up interacting with the state's child welfare agency long after needed supports could or should have been accessed. Or, in other instances, children, youth, and families tried to access resources and supports, only to learn that they are not eligible for services or that the services are not locally, immediately, or affordably accessible. Perceived public stigma, and personally held stigma, also play a significant role in preventing families from seeking help. Many families may also struggle with having the basic conditions to thrive, such as food on the table or gas in the car.

The Department and MCWAN gathered feedback from community and state partners to develop Version 1.0 of the Child Safety and Family Well-Being Plan, released in May 2023. Version 1.0 of the Plan outlines the framework and opportunities for immediate action to develop a Child and Family Well-Being System. It will be modified and expanded with continued input from state and community partners.


The vision for this Child Safety and Family Well Being System is that Maine will be a place where all children, youth, and families live in supportive communities where they can get the help they need, when they need it.

Version 1.0 Strategies

  1. Develop, implement, and update the Plan in partnership with families, partners, and communities.
  2. Promote supportive communities where children, youth, and families feel comfortable seeking help
  3. Improve the economic security of parents and caregivers to provide safety and stability for their children
  4. Provide services and resources to help parents and caregivers ensure the safety, health, and nurturing care of their children
  5. Improve coordination of supports and services for children, youth, and families 

News and Updates

For more information, contact Mariette Aborn, Special Projects Manager for Child and Family Well-Being at