Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Disability and Aging

Establishing the Acquired Brain Injury Trust Fund in Maine: Background Information, Experiences in Other States, and the Needs of Maine Individuals and Their Families

Abstract: 

Contained in the report is a review of the development of trust funds as a funding stream to provide services to individuals with brain injury with unmet needs. There are currently 19 active state trust funds. Trust fund revenue sources and the uses of those funds vary from state-to-state. Revenues from trust funds generally support the access and delivery of cognitive rehabilitation, registries, education, community supports and case management. The unmet needs and barriers of Maine residents with brain injury and their service providers were detailed in a recent state-wide needs assessment. In particular, case management, supported housing, vocational, and education are identified as high priority areas for resource development. The needs assessment recommendations include policy development, collaboration and coalition building to strengthen the service delivery system, coordination of services and supports, and the development of educational opportunities for clinicians, service providers, employers and general public. Recent developments in Maine such as a decreasing number of brain injury service providers, the implementation of a new medical model of reimbursement under MaineCare, and an expected return of recent military veterans with brain injury have prompted the Acquired Brain Injury Advisory Committee to renew focus on the development of a new funding stream to support unmet needs.

Publication Type: 
Report
Publish Date: 
March 8, 2007
Author: 
URL: 
http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/Publications/ihp/BrainInjuryTrustFund.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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