Case files on the deaths of Maine children provided to lawmakers

Case files on the deaths of Maine children provided to lawmakers

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that it is delivering child protective services case files for four children who died last year to the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA). Those files include those for Maddox Williams, whose mother, Jessica Trefethen, is currently on trial for his murder.Some files were delivered in late September and the last of the files were due to be delivered Friday.The Attorney General’s Office also told the Government Oversight Committee that DHHS objects to the Committee’s subpoena seeking direct access to those records by its members. The AG’s office has stated that it violates the law to release these confidential records to Government Oversight Committee members directly. for review of such sensitive records,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambew. “We look forward to OPEGA’s thorough and expert evaluation, as well as to resolution of any remaining questions regarding access to these confidential records. There is no higher priority for the Department than advancing the vital work of protecting Maine children from abuse and neglect and ensuring they can live safe, stable and healthy lives.” Since 2018, DHHS says it has increased staff by 29%, increased the number of resource or foster families by 31%, and overhauled an outdated information system, among other improvements.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that it is delivering child protective services case files for four children who died last year to the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA). Those files include those for Maddox Williams, whose mother, Jessica Trefethen, is currently on trial for his murder.

Some files were delivered in late September and the last of the files were due to be delivered Friday.

The Attorney General’s Office also told the Government Oversight Committee that DHHS objects to the Committee’s subpoena seeking direct access to those records by its members. The AG’s office has stated that it violates the law to release these confidential records to Government Oversight Committee members directly.

“The Department and the Office of the Attorney General rapidly processed and are securely delivering the four requested case files to the office created by the Legislature for review of such sensitive records,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeanne Lambew. “We look forward to OPEGA’s thorough and expert evaluation, as well as to resolution of any remaining questions regarding access to these confidential records. There is no higher priority for the Department than advancing the vital work of protecting Maine children from abuse and neglect and ensuring they can live safe, stable and healthy lives.”

Since 2018, DHHS says it has increased staff by 29%, increased the number of resource or foster families by 31%, and overhauled an outdated information system, among other improvements.

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