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Following Child Deaths, Maine Group Offers Training To Prevent Abuse And Neglect

In the wake of four child deaths this month, the Maine Children's Trust is urging residents to join the Front Porch Project, a new initiative meant to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Heidi Aakjerm, the assistant director of the Trust, says the Front Porch Project provides free training to community members to learn skills to prevent abuse and neglect before it occurs.

"Getting involved does not mean confrontation. It does mean being supportive and discussing ways of how to be supportive in this day and age is really important," she says.

Aakjer says the training is provided by community organizations in each county. The Front Porch Project is a relatively new program funded in part by donations made in honor of Marissa Kennedy, a ten year old who died from abuse in 2018.

"The Front Porch Project of Maine is based on the belief that everyone can and should become more aware of how to help protect children and support families in their own community," she says.