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Focusing on Prevention – A Webinar Series

During Child Abuse Prevention Month in April of 2021, the Office of Child and Family Services and Maine Children's Trust partnered to offer a year-long webinar series on strategies that everyone can use to increase Protective Factors for caregivers, families, and communities, as well as highlighting state and local efforts. Held on the first Tuesday of every other month (February, April, June, August, October & December at 10 a.m.), this webinar series provides educational information and connects providers and community members to also partner in supporting child and family well-being in Maine.

After each webinar, check here for an updated Resources for Prevention Document with information, programs, and resources provided by our presenters. Recordings of the webinars, PowerPoint slides, and local resources are available below. For more information please email info@mechildrenstrust.org.


October 4th, 2022: Examining Youth Mattering as a Child Abuse Prevention Strategy, presented by Kini-Ana Tinkham and Melissa Doyle, Maine Resilience Building Network

As we heard in our Child Abuse Prevention Webinar series to date, the presence of protective factors for youth and families is a strength in preventing child abuse and neglect, mental illness, and substance use disorder. In our last webinar we identified the importance of the existence of caring adults and youth mattering as a protective factor that can strengthen resilience in youth. This month’s webinar will provide education and information on cultivating youth mattering as well as the strategies that we can all employ to enhance youth resilience as a child abuse prevention strategy.

Participants will be able to:
• Gain a deeper understanding of the concepts of youth mattering as a child abuse prevention strategy.
• Identify the importance of youth mattering through the examination of Maine specific data.
• Identify multiple strategies and everyday actions that professionals and other adults can use to enhance youth mattering in Maine.


Click below for the webinar recording.
webinar link


August 2nd, 2022: Making the Connection: Mental Health, Substance Use and Child Abuse Prevention, presented by Megan Scott and Sheila Nelson, Maine CDC.

There is a significant connection between the prevention of Mental Illness, Substance Use, and Child Abuse and Neglect. We can all work to prevent Child Abuse and Neglect by also improving mental wellness and employing strategies to prevent substance use. Increasing protective factors, as we heard about in June’s webinar, is just one strategy that can address all three of these risk factors. There are many other strategies for mental wellness and the prevention of substance use and child abuse and neglect that fall across the continuum of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention that are being implemented in Maine. By working together we can strengthen and enhance the prevention services continuum to help support families in Maine to be safe, stable, happy, and healthy.

Participants will be able to:
• Gain an understanding of Mental Wellness promotion, Substance Use Prevention and the intersection with Child Abuse Prevention.
• Identify multiple strategies and everyday actions that professionals working within these three categories can do to work together to strengthen the prevention continuum in Maine.
• Learn about resources, tools, and opportunities for collaboration and coordination.


Click below for the webinar recording.
webinar link

Additional Resources:
Webinar Slides



June 7th, 2022: Strengthening Communities, Families, and Practices through the Protective Factors Framework, presented by Denise Trafton, Maine Children's Trust

Protective factors are characteristics or strengths of individuals, families, communities, or societies that act to mitigate risks and promote positive well-being and healthy development. Most often, we see them as attributes that help families successfully navigate difficult situations. The Protective Factors Framework is also an organized set of strengths-based ideas that are used to guide programs, services, supports, and interventions aimed at preventing child maltreatment and promoting healthy outcomes. The Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework from the Center for the Study of Social Policy distills extensive research in child and family development into a core set of five protective factors that everyone can understand and implement in communities, practice in working with families, and in our own lives.

Participants will be able to:
• Gain an understanding of the Strengthening Families Framework: The Five Protective Factors and working in a strengths-based way.
• Identify multiple strategies and everyday actions that help build Protective Factors.
• Learn about resources, tools, and local implementation of the Protective Factors.


Click below for the webinar recording.
webinar link

Additional Resources:
Webinar Slides (Powerpoint Format)



March 25th, 2022: Child Abuse Prevention: It's Everyone's Role, presented by Heidi Aakjer, Maine Children's Trust and Christine Theriault, Maine CDC

We all have a role in supporting families in Maine to be safe, stable, happy, and healthy. Raising awareness about child abuse and neglect and sharing strategies for prevention are examples of the many things that we all can do to reach this goal. Nationally, April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month and is the perfect opportunity for all of us to raise awareness about this important topic as well as learn how we all can prevent child abuse and neglect in Maine.

The Office of Child and Family Services, in partnership with the Maine Children's Trust, is kicking off Child Abuse Prevention Month with a "Preventing Child Abuse in Maine: It’s Everyone's Role" webinar to share information about what we all can do to prevent child abuse and neglect, support families, and raise awareness about the role all of us play in keeping Maine's children safe.

Participants will be able to:
• Gain an understanding of the National and Maine specific efforts and strategies to provide information about the prevention child abuse and neglect,
• Develop knowledge about tools and resources that everyone can use to raise awareness about child abuse prevention in the month of April, and
• Learn about opportunities and resources for the prevention of child abuse and neglect beyond Child Abuse Prevention Month.


Click below for the webinar recording.
webinar link