City of Portland, ME

Portland defending childhood staffThe Portland Defending Childhood Initiative was a comprehensive initiative aimed at improving the community’s resources for both the prevention and treatment of childhood exposure to violence. Portland Defending Childhood Initiative’s work focused on educating the community about violence prevention, collaborating with provider groups—including legal, health and mental health—to improve children’s access to supports and treatment, and providing evidence-based clinical treatment for those children who have experienced violence. The program’s core strategies included:

  • Partnering with educators to provide violence prevention curricula
  • Offering free training on children’s exposure to violence to people who work with children
  • Joining forces with a local domestic violence resource agency to bridge gaps in services and support children exposed to domestic violence
  • Working with a legal services agency to ensure children who have been exposed to violence have access to legal assistance
  • Offering evidence-based mental health treatment to children exposed to violence
  • Providing training and support to others delivering mental health treatment to children
  • Collaborating with leaders from our immigrant and refugee communities to ensure equal access to resourced
  • Joining forces with our local hospital network and nurse home visitors to ensure children are screened for violence exposure and referred for support
  • Growing a broad network of providers and community members and dispersing news and resources electronically to this community

Visit the Portland Defending Childhood Initiative website.