Great Expectations: Implementing a High-Stakes Testing Program in Maine
This paper describes the initial inception and development of a child welfare pre-service testing program in Maine. In 2007, the Maine Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) and the University of Southern Maine began to develop a high-stakes test that child welfare trainees must successfully complete prior to securing employment in the regional offices. The purpose of the program was to ensure that trainees graduated with sufficient mastery of child welfare fundamentals, and to increase credibility of the profession and training program. One of the main objectives of test development was to create a comprehensive set of assessment tools that could reflect the considerable range of job expectations on the typical caseworker. This came to include a knowledge test, skill assessment and field practice review. This paper will review the early accomplishments and challenges in developing a multi-]layered testing program.
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State and Wabanaki Tribes Sign Truth and Reconciliation Mandate
On June 29, 2012, five Wabanaki Chiefs and Governor Paul LePage signed a Mandate document commencing the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine Maine child welfare practices affecting Wabanaki people.
The ceremony represents a historic agreement between Wabanaki Tribal Governments and the State of Maine to uncover and acknowledge the truth, create opportunities to heal and learn from the truth, and collaborate to operate the best child welfare system possible for Wabanaki children, a goal shared by all the signatories to the Mandate.