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July 2016


This week I had the joy to be part of a small team that spent time with Dr. Erin Oldham from the Cutler Institute at the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine (USM). Dr. Oldham and USM have started a project to explore ways for Maine nonprofits to demonstrate mission impact through data innovation, and The Maine Children's Home is excited to be a pilot agency for the project.

In particular, we want to gain insight on The Maine Children's Home's Sharon Abrams' Teen Parent School Program. We know we have supported close to a thousand pregnant or parenting teens over the past 41 years. Can we go beyond that simple (but impressive) number and quantify all the effects of this program and our other services? That's what we hope the USM project will help with.

Meanwhile, we shared the unique supports The Maine Children's Home offers, and I was struck by the extraordinary ripple effect of our work: for the teen parents, their babies, parents, siblings, friends, and other peers. We are changing lives in multiple layers and for multiple generations. This concept is true across all the services we provide: counseling, The Children's Place Early Care and Education Center, adoptions, summer camp scholarships, and in the Christmas Program. We're changing the realities and futures for hundreds of children and families each and every month. The support, encouragement, information, advocacy and tools The Maine Children's Home provides are empowering every family to be stronger, and more independent and confident in raising healthier Maine children.

You will see in this month's agency report card that we are making a difference with your help and support. If you haven't visited us in a while I invite you to come by and see the ripple effect at work.

As always, we are humbled and grateful for the incredible support we receive each day to strengthen all the supports we are able to offer. Thank you!

Richard Dorian, Executive Director

More Than 155 Years of Professional Social Work Experience in Our Adoption Program

The Maine Children's Home's Adoption Program has ethically placed children in loving adoptive homes since 1899. We are a comprehensive adoption agency, offering professional services and support to all members of the adoption triad, which includes adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees.

As the only Maine-based adoption agency that meets the Council on Accreditation's Hague International Standards, all families can be assured that we operate with the best interests of the children being adopted as the primary concern.

Maine Children's Home sign

Recently, the program has expanded and is now welcoming referrals. If you're interested in learning more about adoption, please attend an informational meeting the last Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. at The Maine Children's Home campus (93 Silver Street, Waterville). For more information please contact Lindsay Bragdon, adoption program coordinator at 207-873-4253 ext. 210, or via email at

Agency Monthly Report

Openings & Options for the Sharon Abrams' Teen Parent School Program

This is the time of year when Teen Parent School staff provides information, outreach and tours for local area guidance counselors, social workers, case managers and pregnant or parenting teens that are seeking the right combination of support to finish their high school education requirements.

Becky Judd is right in the center of this work as the new Teen Parent School Program director. We are thankful for her years of experience with this program in her continuing role as the case manager for many students.

If you would like information about the application process or availability, please contact Becky Judd at 207-873-4253 ext. 213, or write

Maine Children's Home Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School building

The Sharon Abrams' Teen Parent School Program at The Maine Children's Home is an alternative high school program for pregnant and parenting teens. Our school program has been in existence since 1974. Open to pregnant and parenting teens statewide, it provides prenatal and parenting instruction along with academic and life skill courses. All students are registered as Waterville High School students and work toward earning a Waterville High School diploma.

The program is located in Lunder Hall on The Maine Children's Home Dorothy "Bibby" Alfond campus. There are five certified teachers on location, and other teachers from Waterville High School teach specific courses. A full-time clinician is available to support students with individual counseling. On-campus childcare is also available, free of cost, to students while enrolled in our program.

Achieving financial and emotional independence is a tremendous feat in anyone's life. Early parenthood can make the journey more challenging, but not hopeless. Our aim is to remove as many deterrents as possible, and then to build on the strengths of each young parent. We also strive to help teen parents understand positive parenting, to support and assist them as they learn to deal with troublesome issues, and to provide a high quality education so they can acquire the knowledge and skills to move forward in a healthy lifestyle.

Education Options

  • High school completion
  • Prenatal classes
  • Parenting classes
  • Independent living education and support

Additional Support

  • Individual counseling
  • Psycho-educational groups
  • On-site childcare at The Children's Place
  • College and career support
  • Referrals for vital supports for health, well-being and family security

We know from more than 41 years of supporting, learning and follow-up that this program is a powerful example of the ripple effect across generations of families.

Save the Date

Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 22, for fashion, food and fun at our annual Passion for Fashion event. Call to reserve your ticket today!

Please note the new location: The Vintage Manor Event Center (the old John Martin's Manor) on College Avenue in Waterville.

Christmas in July

Throughout the month of July, the Winslow Community Federal Credit Union celebrated Christmas in July by collecting items for the Christmas Program.

Thank you to the credit union, and all those who helped by donating items during the Christmas in July celebration. Remember, it's never too early to donate!

Summer Camp Scholarship Program Success

Since 1967 The Maine Children's Home has conducted an annual special fundraising campaign to provide either a day at camp or an overnight camping experience for children who could not afford to attend otherwise. The activities, friendships, and positive role models they experience at camp can shape a child's character in enduring ways.

This year's support helped send 120 children to one of the six Maine summer camps that partner with us on the Summer Camp Scholarship Program.

We are deeply grateful to the many private donors, clubs, businesses and foundations that made this possible. We are especially grateful for the continued support of the George Keller Campership Fund, sending many children to camp. We are grateful for partnerships with the Julia Clukey Camp for Girls at the Kennebec Valley YMCA, Camp Tracy in Oakland, Camp Fairhaven in Brooks, The Friends Camp in China, Camp Susan Curtis in Stoneham and Camp Mechuwana in Winthrop. We were thrilled that this year several of the camps shared their own scholarship funds to make several camp dreams a reality.

We are deeply appreciative of the support that allowed us to provide this once-in-a-lifetime experience to 120 children. Thank you.


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Our Hague-accredited adoption program, Maine's longest-operating adoption program, provides expert assistance to those hoping to adopt internationally or domestically. more »

The Harland A. Turner Counseling Center

Offering outpatient mental health counseling, specializing in play and art therapy and adoption counseling. more »

Adoption Counseling

Specialized counseling for people considering adoption as well as adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees of all ages. more »

The Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program

Providing education, counseling and guidance to pregnant and parenting teens. more »

The Children's Place

Delivering nationally accredited early care and education to children 6 weeks old to age 5. more »

The Christmas Program

The only program of its kind providing new clothing, books, games and toys to underprivileged children throughout Maine. more »

Summer Camp Scholarships

Providing an overnight camp experience to approximately 150 disadvantaged Maine children each year.more »

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