Children, Youth and Families

Lee Lauritsen, L.M.S.W.

Policy Associate II


12 E. Chestnut Street, Augusta

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 626-5081

Public child welfare has been the focus of Lee’s career. The opportunity to contribute to best practice in the field is exciting. Lee may never see the children and families who benefit, but she knows they are out there and this idea keeps her engaged.

For 19 years, Lee worked in various positions within Maine’s public child welfare system. As a supervisor and later an administrator, staff training caught her interest. After transferring to USM in 2004, she has had the opportunity to train child welfare staff at all levels in Maine. Topics include forensic interviewing, family team meetings, screening and hiring, performance management, and motivational interviewing. Skill areas she has developed include facilitation, curriculum writing (web based and face-to-face training), staff coaching, and distance education. Nationally, Lee works with supervisors in building leadership skills as an instructor for the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute's Leadership Academy for Supervisors. 

Nellie Mae Education Foundation nominates Pious Ali for the Lawrence W. O'Toole Award

Pious Ali

Pious Ali, Youth and Community Engagement Specialist in Cutler’s Children, Youth, and Families Programs, has been nominated for the Lawrence W. O’Toole Award by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Pious is one of six nominees from the New England states.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation believes that student-centered learning – where learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom – will prepare young people to graduate high school ready to contribute to their communities and succeed. This award is given out each year to an individual, school district, or non-profit that has exhibited great leadership in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward in the New England region.

The winner will be selected by online voting and will be awarded a $100,000 grant to help advance student centered learning!


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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.

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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