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Maine Lawmakers Set Timeline, Parameters For Child Protection Probe

The Maine Legislature's Government Oversight Committee directed its watchdog agency to investigate practices of the state's child protective system following the recent deaths of several children in its care.

The committee voted unanimously to direct the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability to break its investigation into three phases and reports.

The first is due Jan. 15 and will try to determine if the child protection division has adequate and effective oversight.

Parts two and three will review how the state is protecting children during its initial review of living situations and child safety after kids are reunified with their parents or caretakers.

Both of those parts will be due later in 2022.

Lawmakers were hoping for a faster turnaround in the probe, but because the inquiry will review recent deaths of children, it will likely be delayed by ongoing prosecutions by the state attorney general's office.