16th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Kim Miller, CWAPA
Kim Miller, Assistant Child Welfare Program Administrator for Maine's Office of Child and Family Services, the Skowhegan Office, has made an outstanding contribution to improving the lives of abused and neglected children and their families with her extraordinary commitment to the safety and well-being of children in Somerset County. Under her direction, the Skowhegan Protective, Children's Services, Adoption, and Licensing caseworkers freely act on their belief that all children deserve a healthy and safe family life in a community that cares and respects them. Ms. Miller supported her staff in a concerted effort to increase the number of child protective assessments, resulting in 100 percent assignment for caseworker intervention of all reports of abuse and neglect since July 2006.
Ms. Miller encourages her staff with the belief that well-being can be achieved best when children remain with their family. In those instances of removal of children from their birth family, every effort is made to place the child with relatives whenever safely possible to ensure the child's ability to maintain family, community, school, and friendship ties. The Skowhegan office began the 2006 year of its Program Improvement Plan with 69 percent of children placed either with kin or in close proximity to their communities, and, by year's end, 79.3 percent experienced such placements—a clear demonstration of Ms. Miller's capacity to lead her staff with a commitment to achieving family connections for all children.
Ultimately, Ms. Miller clearly appreciates each child to be a unique individual with a right to all the basic needs of family connection, safety, and a greater community that supports them. In addition to engaging her staff, she involves the entire community in the effort to prevent abuse and neglect and to develop strategies to address the needs of children and families.