Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Family Support and Independence

man with daughter

Many families share circumstances that require interaction with multiple public service agencies, such as families in financial distress, families with children with special needs, immigrant/ refugee families, or families involved in the child welfare system. The Cutler Institute provides training and technical assistance to the human service agencies that support a broad range of individuals and families in need of short-term or longer-term assistance.

Current Projects


OFI Training

Workforce Development – Office of Family Independence/Maine DHHS

For over 10 years the Standard Eligibility Policy Training Program has prepared new OFI workers to navigate ever changing federal and state rules, regulations and electronic processes in order to deliver efficient, accurate, and effective eligibility determinations for programs such as TANF, Food Supplement, MaineCare, and Disability Services. Training is delivered through a blend of online and classroom training, reinforced on the job through a series of Learning at Work Guides coordinated with local supervisors.


OFI TrainingDivision of Support Enforcement & Recovery, Quadrennial Review

Federal law requires that each state conduct a formal review of its child support guidelines at least once every four years. In 2012 Cutler Institute staff produced Maine’s report, based on an extensive process of stakeholder input, literature review, DSER case studies, policy analysis, and updates to economic forecasting. The report includes an analysis of different child support models and recommendations on changes to the Maine Child Support schedule to reflect new economic realities. 

Muskie Public Health Graduate Students Present at Maine CDC Conference

MPH graduate student Trevey Davis describing the academic program to a conference attendee at Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference.

The Muskie School of Public Service, Graduate Program in Public Health, and the Maine Public Health Institute exhibited at the Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference and the concurrent Immunization Annual Conference.  Practice faculty member, Judy Tupper, DHEd, CHES, CPPS and MPH graduate student Trevey Davis spoke with many of the 500 public health professionals attending the conferences.  In addition, Muskie Public Health Education Corps members Carissa Parent, Jacey Keller, and Nikki Busmanis, (MPH graduate students) presented a research poster based on their recent Lyme disease educational intervention pilot in Maine schools.  Dr. Tupper also presented a poster regarding the results of the online training pilot program for Maine EMS personnel on the topic of infection control and prevention.  Educating Fifth Graders on Tick- and Mosquito-Borne Diseases and Prevention Methods" at the Maine CDC Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference.

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Justice Research

Cover: Maine Crime and Justice Data Book 2014

Using the most recent public safety, corrections, and court data available, the Maine Crime and Justice Data Book presents a portrait of the state's crime and justice indicators, including 10-year trends in Maine and comparisons with northern New England and the U.S. at large.

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MYTC 2014 Celebration

Colby Swettberg, May 2014, MYTC

Every year the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative brings together youth and adult partners from around Maine to celebrate the year's achievements and milestones.

2014
MYTC’s fourth annual celebration dinner was held at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern on May 13, 2014. Over seventy young adults, adult partners, professionals, legislators, adoptive families, and friends came together for an evening of fun, renewed connections, learning, and good food.

The importance of mentors in the lives of young people was the theme for the evening. The keynote speaker, Colby Swettberg, Executive Director of Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring in Boston, was introduced by Jacob Hills. Ms. Swettberg talked about what good mentor-mentee relationships look like for youth in foster care and led a discussion about best practices and challenges to bringing youth and mentors together.

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