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Politics

DHHS Commissioner Set To Testify On Maine's Child Welfare System

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Maine Public staff/file
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DHHS Commissioner Ricker Hamilton, then a nominee for the post, at a legislative committee hearing Oct. 19, 2017.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A LePage administration official is set to testify before a legislative watchdog investigating Maine's struggling child welfare system.
 
Republican Sen. Tom Saviello said that the Legislature's Government Oversight Committee has subpoenaed Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Ricker Hamilton to appear before the panel Tuesday.
 
Maine is struggling with an uptick in alleged child abuse and neglect. Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability Director Beth Ashcroft says workloads for caseworkers are increasing as call volumes increase and new policy changes require more assessments of some allegations.
 
The watchdog agency is investigating Maine's child welfare system following the deaths of 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy in February in Stockton Springs and 4-year-old Kendall Chick in December in Wiscasset.