WATERVILLE — Child abuse prevention councils across the state are working together to provide training.

Kennebec Valley Community Action Program’s Family Enrichment Councils are joining other councils to provide the Front Porch Project of Maine.

The Maine Children’s Trust has collaborated with the network of prevention councils in every county to deliver the Front Porch Project Training directly to their communities.

Maine has had four child deaths of children younger than 4 in the past several months, according to a news release. Often after the death of a child because of child abuse and neglect, neighbors and community members wonder if there was anything they could have done to help. It is important for communities to know how they can help support families and children.

The prevention councils encourage community members to learn more about the Front Porch Project. The project is funded in part by the donations to the Maine Children’s Trust on behalf of Marissa Kennedy, a child tragically lost to child abuse in 2018.

The project is based on the belief that everyone can — and should — become more aware of how to help protect children and support families in their own community. It provides community members with the knowledge, skills, and encouragement they need to take an active role in preventing abuse and neglect before it occurs. The training helps create a community that works together to prevent child abuse and neglect and inspires a caring, supportive and compassionate community.

“Parenting is one of the hardest jobs we have. Many parents do not have extended families that can provide additional support,” said Lanelle Freeman, director of Social Services at KVCAP, according to a news release from KVCAP. “The pandemic has added stressors to families that can than put children at higher risk. It is important for everyone to understand that most child abuse can be prevented.”

The Front Porch Project is flexible, free, available in person or through online platforms, and can be adapted to meet the needs of a specific community. To schedule a training or get more information, call KVCAP’s Family Enrichment Council — in Kennebec County, Becky Lambert at 207-859-1588; and in Somerset County, Kristen Plummer at 207-859-2520


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