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Portland Defending Childhood

Protect. Heal. Thrive.Portland Defending Childhood

What is Portland Defending Childhood?

Maine Behavioral Healthcare is a proud leader of Portland Defending Childhood, a coalition of organizations in partnership with the City of Portland Public Health Division.

Portland Defending Childhood in Portland, Maine is one of eight sites in the country that works to both prevent children's exposure to violence and reduce negative effects of violence. We offer information, support and evidence-based treatment.

Portland Defending Childhood implements and supports a broad range of prevention programs and activities throughout Portland. PDC provides ongoing training and technical assistance to city-based nurse home visitors so that families and children are screened for exposure to violence and referred to supportive community resources, and works closely with the Portland Public Schools and local early education classrooms to provide evidence-based violence prevention curricula for students and to support teachers in content delivery.

PDC has increased awareness of children’s exposure to violence to pediatric staff at MMC and has implemented screening and assessment of violence exposure. Over the past few years, Maine Behavioral Healthcare has worked in partnership with MaineHealth, Maine Medical Center, and Maine Medical Partners to examine impact, improve support, and provide intervention to children and families experiencing trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Co-led by the MBH Clinical Innovation Department, this program includes an interdisciplinary team of leaders and content experts focused on leading the MaineHealth system in the development of best practice models for education, prevention, screening and treatment of ACEs. To learn more about this work, please visit the MaineHealth ACEs webpage.

To learn more about Portland Defending Childhood, contact:

Rebecca Hoffmann Frances
Director of Clinical Innovation
Phone: 207-661-6506