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Lawmaker Calls Lack of Placements for Kids ‘Shocking’

Emily O'Connor
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Lawmakers are calling for answers on the state's troubled child welfare system and asking the public to weigh in.

The Legislature's Government Oversight Committee is set to hold a March 8 public hearing on a legislative watchdog's recent survey of child protective caseworkers across Maine.

The survey found caseworkers are reporting having faced a "dramatic and sudden" spike in their workload since the deaths of two young girls from alleged child abuse.

The watchdog's survey also found that 91 percent of 141 surveyed caseworkers said they were asked to "stay with a child in the emergency room, hotel or other overnight setting."

Government Oversight Committee Senate Chair Justin Chenette, a Democrat, said that figure was "shocking" and could be a future focus for the committee.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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