Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Children, Youth and Families, Population Health and Health Policy

2012 Maine Child Support Guidelines: Review and Recommendations

Abstract: 

Ward, S., Daley, J., Fraumeni, B., Shaler, G., Griffin, E., Knox, M., Hallett, L., & Mandeville, L. (2012, July). 2012 Maine child support guidelines: Review and recommendations. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service, Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy. <br></br>
Prepared for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Family Independence, Division of Child Support Enforcement. This report summarizes the quadrennial review of Maine's child support guidelines conducted by the USM Muskie School , which complies with federal law requiring each state's child support guidelines be reviewed at least once every four years. Principle findings of the extensive review by the Muskie School show that many aspects of Maine's child support system work well. Maine's low deviation rate reflects a reasonably high level of consistency in apply the guidelines, and in large part, protect the needs and interests of the children. The report provides background and overview of child support modes and the Maine guidelines, and describes the elements of the review: Literature Review, Policy Analysis, Economic Analysis, Deviation Study, Stakeholder Input, Interviews with other State Child Support Officials, and concludes with several findings and recommendations. For additional information about the report or the study, contact Janice Daley at the Muskie School (jdaley@usm.maine.edu).

Publication Type: 
Report
Publish Date: 
July 31, 2012

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

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