The Mills Administration today released a report completed during the LePage Administration on children's behavioral health.

Augusta, Maine – The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) today released a comprehensive assessment of Maine's Children Behavioral Health Services (CBHS), conducted by Public Consulting Group, that identifies strengths, weaknesses, and gaps within the CBHS system of care. This independent evaluation conducted by national experts has provided beneficial insight into the CBHS system, along with detailed recommendations designed to increase access to CBHS and to increase the quality of CBHS. This assessment resulted in the "Children's Behavioral Health Services Assessment Final Report", and has been posted publicly on the CBHS home page.

"The new leadership in the Department will carefully review this report and its recommendations and will take all appropriate and necessary actions to ensure the safety and welfare of Maine children," said Kirsten Capeless, Acting Director for the Office of Child and Family Services. "We are releasing this report to the public today in the interest of accountability and transparency."

This assessment was developed in partnership with Disability Rights Maine, and included input from a broad range of stakeholders including children and families, provider agencies, DHHS front line staff, and others – ensuring a comprehensive and accurate depiction of the CBHS system of care. The Final Report examines the CBHS service array, regulatory structure, and operational processes. It also presents research regarding best practices and industry examples to identify solutions to areas requiring improvement within the State of Maine. These solutions are represented as both short- and long-term recommendations regarding the CBHS system of care.

The Department is committed to ensuring timely delivery of critical behavioral health services for Maine children and families. This collaborative approach to the evaluation has ensured that stakeholders–especially children and families–have had an opportunity to provide their input, as those with first-hand experience within the system are often able to provide a unique perspective on what is and is not working. The Department will now assign a team to review the final recommendations, and to implement those that will help the State of Maine provide timely, high-quality behavioral health services and supports to Maine children and their families.

This report was completed under the LePage Administration and is now being released by the Mills Administration.