Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

The Affordable Care Act: What's Next for Maine?

Abstract: 

As part of its on-going Health Policy Colloquium series, the Muskie School will provide information and convene leaders to explore in detail how the ACA will affect Mainers, what preparations are in place to transition to the new law and to raise and respond to questions as the law is implemented. This policy brief provides background information and lays out some of those questions of affordability, coverage, and impact on small businesses. We hope to provide an on-going forum for interested parties to work together with the Muskie School to address these and other issues in a timely and accurate way.

Suggested Citation:

Riley, T. (2013, August). The Affordable Care Act: What's next for Maine? (Health Policy Colloquium Brief). Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service

Publication Type: 
Research and Policy Brief
Publish Date: 
August 19, 2013
URL: 
http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/Publications/HealthPolicy/Brief-ACA-Whats-Next-For-Maine.pdf

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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