The Office of Child and Family Services, Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Since 2005, THRIVE has provided trauma-informed training and technical assistance to mental health agencies serving youth and their families. In 2008, THRIVE began collaborating with families, youth, a national evaluator and two mental health agencies to develop and implement the Trauma-Informed Agency Assessment (TIAA). OCFS now requires all agencies it contracts with to complete the TIAA annually. Several other states are also using this data-driven, validated, decision-making tool to improve service delivery.
Maine Alliance of Family Organizations (MAFO). THRIVE’s partnership with family organizations began in 2008 when it helped define the role and evaluation process for a “Family Support Partner” followed by a training curriculum and the beginnings of a certification process for family partnering in Maine’s Wraparound Initiative. In 2009, THRIVE funded facilitation for seven family organizations forming a statewide alliance to strengthen the family voice and better serve families of children with disabilities and special health care needs. THRIVE’s social marketing director helped MAFO create and distribute an identity flier and awareness video, which Community Access Television stations and international networks have broadcast to more than 400,000 households in 32 Maine communities, six other states, New Zealand, Europe and Africa. In 2010, MAFO hosted a forum for gubernatorial candidates and continues to educate policymakers on its vital work in support of Maine families.
Youth MOVE Maine (YMM). THRIVE has supported youth-guided voice in Maine’s child-serving systems of care since 2005. Initially, its LewistonYouth Group for ages 14-21 offered peer support, training, experiential learning activities, mental health awareness raising, and insight sharing with state and local decision makers. Participating youth all had lived experiences in mental health and/or juvenile justice, child welfare or education systems. In 2009, an expanded program for ages up to 25 became Maine’s chapter of the national Youth Motivating Others through Voices of Experience. THRIVE remains YMM’s lead agency, and YMM is a three-region program. More than 60% of its statewide Advisory Council is under the age of 26. YMM supports youth and adults in building the skills, partnerships, policies, and practices essential to making sure all youth are connected, resilient, growing and included in the decisions that impact their lives.
The Maine Resilience Building Network was formed in February 2012. In 2011, a research study and report called “Working with Adverse Childhood Experiences: Maine’s History, Present, and Future” was conducted for the Maine Children’s Growth Council Health Accountability Team.
Recommendations from the report included:
- Develop resources with input from community members.
- Integrate resources into the work of the Growth Council.
- Develop toolkit materials and have different groups contribute to making them.
- Invest private funds toward a screening/intervention pilot project.
- Invest in a roundtable forum of the current implementation of ACE’s.
- Incorporate ACE screening and service planning to enhance existing services in many areas like home visiting, primary care, child welfare, and more.