Western Maine Addiction Recovery Initiative

Mollyocket Motel/ Crosstone Restaurant

December 6, 2017


6:00Welcome and Introductions

Present: Jessica, Nancy, Michelle, Brendan, Matt, Glen, Janice, Chris, Jason, Bill, Emily, Jennifer, Kelly, and Stephanie Erikson, Olivia Cronkite, Chris Rice, Robin Chamberlain from Safe Families.


6:05Spot Light – Safe Families for Children

Started in 2003 in the State of Illinois. At that point, there were only services for children after something bad happens. This made no sense. We needed to be able to help prevent bad things. In Chicago until 2008, then to Atlanta. Now in 40 states and some programs in Canada, Africa, and India. In Maine, Safe Families for Children covers Cumberland County, Androscoggin County, Mid-coast region, Oxford County, Penobscot County, Hancock , and Washington County. The only restriction to coverage area is: is there availability and is it reachable? Stephanie is a member of a church in Bethel and is working with the Moss Brook Church and is reaching out to the Bridgton Alliance Church to develop hosts families and family friends in our area.


Provides hosting for kids whose family is in crisis. Vetted volunteers – Host Families and Family Friends. Also have family coaches to help Mom’s and Dad’s find resources and services. There are also people who provide intake and who vetted volunteers. Professionals are only 10% of personnel. 90% are volunteers. Average length of stay – 45 days. Services are all voluntary. They might be connected through a local service provider, but the parents must do the application. Parents can apply online. There is a parental agreement when children are placed in these services. Law – allows parents to call for help and to create a safety plan. When they do this, the parents can not be charged with child abuse and neglect. Parents may come up with a safety plan with DHS to use these services. A lot of family friends are also vetted as host families.


The trigger for placement is a parental crisis or issue. It is not for child behavior issues, respite, etc.


Parental Agreement: Between parent and the family that is hosting the child. Safe Families is the agency that vetted and supports the process. Co-parenting. The law gives the host family the right to make medical and educational decisions.


Since 2010, we have had volunteers who have hosted more than 12000 nights of hosting arrangements. 92-98% of children are returned to parents. 0-5 is the prevalent age of children hosted. Volunteers are typically recruited through local churches. They want people to be connected through a local congregation. Although they can participate in a local group connected to a local church. Volunteers can be from any faith as long as they are willing to be a part of the local group connected to a church. Many parents who use safe families were in foster care themselves and this program has helped break the cycle of generational foster involvement.


Training for host families and family friends. Three required trainings, monthly webinar training, weekly meetings with family coaches.


Best place to find more information is at www.safe-families.org. Email: maine@safefamilies.net. To refer: Call intake: 207-713-0523. There are also resource friends who do not take in children, but might give resources that are needed for the program. Safe Families for Children offers relationships, not money.


Issue: Many parents do not enter treatment because they have children and they have no safe place for their children. This would be a very helpful resources for our students.


6:25Financial Report

We have $5187.99. We also have the $500 from Dave Preble’s award to add for a total of $5,5187.99!


6:30Sub Committee Report Outs

Legislative subcommittee:



Education subcommittee:

Slide show: Brendan and Emily developed a slide show to present to local community groups to share the work of WMARI. Two weeks ago, Brendan and Jessica met with Oxford Hills Rotary and presented the slideshow. It was helpful that David Preble was in the meeting and could answer questions about the prevalence in our area and what percentage of addictions began after use of prescription drugs. The slideshow was reviewed at the meeting and suggestions for improvement were made.


Brochure: Edits for the brochure were discussed. Further edits were discussed at this meeting. Watch for consistency of tenses and action words. Stay away from using the word committee because it isn’t attractive.


MeHAF: MeHAF will be funding the design of the brochure and the printing. If there is money left over, the education committee will come up with suggestions to bring to the group. We may be looking for a vote.





7:00News, Project Save ME, & Updates

Recent Developments:

There was an overdose death in West Paris last week. The work we do is still important.


We received word that Wayne has resigned as sheriff. He has done very valuable work for this group and has been a huge advocate for work with addiction. We hope that he will continue his work with WMARI.


Project Save ME:

There were many people at the Addictions Conference who were interested in recovery training. Jessica information




Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 3rd, 6 – 7:30