Number of Maine children removed from abusive homes declines

Posted May 13, 2012, at 11:07 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — State figures show that the number of children removed from abusive homes in Maine has declined by more than 50 percent in the past decade.

The numbers have fallen as the Department of Health and Human Services pursued a policy of keeping children with parents unless they face physical abuse or serious neglect.

The Maine Sunday Telegram said the numbers mirror a national trend, supported by findings that children can suffer severe emotional trauma when separated from their families and placed in foster care.

But the newspaper also finds that the trend raises concerns about whether child welfare workers are acting quickly enough in cases where children are suffering or at risk of abuse.