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Maine To Receive $12 Million In Federal Funding To Prevent Child Abuse And Neglect

Maine's Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that it has received federal approval for a plan to prevent child abuse and neglect. That means the state will receive about $2.4 million annually over the next five years.

Maine submitted its plan under a federal law called the Family First Prevention Services Act, which aims to keep children safely with their families and out of foster care.

In a written statement, Gov. Janet Mills says the funding will advance reforms to the state's child welfare system. Those include providing intensive in-home support programs for families. The funding will also be used to establish quality standards for residential treatment programs for youth who have experienced trauma.

The Mills Administration submitted its plan to the federal government in February. The state's child welfare program has been under heightened scrutiny for several years - most recently after four children died from suspected abuse from May to August.