AUGUSTA – Each year, the Child Welfare Ombudsman Office does an annual report that analyses all the cases staff have had in the previous year.
On Friday, Child Welfare Ombudsman Christine Alberi spoke with the Health and Human Services Committee to offer recommendations for improvements the Maine Department of Health and Human can make going forward.
Alberi said at the end of December, there were 2,218 children in state custody.
She said the number of kids in custody has been trending upward since the spring of 2018.
“My goal, at least in part, is to help the legislature understand what is happening in child welfare and also highlight trends of improvement,” Alberi said. “As well as things that still need to be worked on.”
Alberi said the department has as obligation to try to unify children with their parents.
The overall goal, according to Alberi, is to decrease the numbers they have seen.