Although Maine collects various data to profile the status of children within Departments and at the county level, a common set of indicators for use in planning at the state level has not yet been developed. This project proposes to:
Establish a common vision for childrens health and wellbeing;
Produce a set of indicators, including strengthbased indicators, in key areas across systems at the state level;
Forge vertical and horizontal links among policy makers and program staff to promote the use of indicators in policy making; and
Present indicator data in a userfriendly format.
Maine anticipates that the set of indicators developed will provide a framework for tracking the effects of welfare reform. While the Maine Department of Human Services will serve as the lead agency for the project, the Childrens Cabinet, an executivelevel interagency council, will serve as the cornerstone of the partnership. Cabinet membership includes the Commissioners of five state agencies including the Departments of Human Services, Education, Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, and the Departments of Public Safety and Corrections. Each of these agencies will contribute the following representatives to this project: Associate Commissioners, who will serve on the Steering Committee, and data and program staff, who will serve on a Coordinating Committee and two working subcommittees. Other members of the partnership include the Maine Childrens Alliance (KIDS COUNT), State Planning Office, Maine Development Foundation, Dirigo Coalition, Educational Policy Center, Margaret Chase Smith Center at the University of Maine, and the Institute for Public Sector Innovation at the University of Southern Maine.