The right to family integrity is a fundamental  Constitutional, civil, and human right. Family Advocacy of Maine (FAM) believes that all people are entitled to equal rights, including the right to their family. 


Every year thousands of familes will face the possibility of a separaton due to an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services (the Department). Most of these investigations are the result of allegations of neglect stemming from poverty, lack of stable housing, lack of child care, mental health or physical health diagnoses, allegations of domestic violence, or intellectual disabilities.  Once a case is filed in court, families face prolonged separation and years of supervision by the Department. Ultimately, the Department may seek to terminate the rights of parents and families, in order to "free" children for adoption.


The vast majority of Child Protective Services' (CPS) investigations and prosecutions of families are based solely on neglect allegations. Neglect is a broad category that can include the lack of stable housing, failing to protect a child from dangers, a dirty house, a missed well-child checkup or dental appointments, or a cargiver displaying symptoms of a mental health condition. 


CPS disportionately targets people from marginalized communities, including people of color, persons with disabilities, and the economically disadvantaged. Children from these communities are far too often removed by CPS agents for discriminatory reasons and without the opportunity to know their rights.


FAM routinely sees cases that are prosecuted by CPS to remove children from parents for nothing more than being unhoused, not having adaquate income to support their child, having a disability, or being the survivor/ victim of domestic violence. 


FAM understands the difficulty, peril, and immense stakes involved in navigating a CPS involvment and is dedicated to defending families and advocating for the reform with the ultimate goal of abolishing the family policing system.




"I truly believe that if ever a state social agency destroyed a family, it destroyed ours. We wanted and tried to stay together. Our home didn’t have to be destroyed ... And ours was not the only case of this kind."


- Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As told to Alex Haley