Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS)


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Provides OCFS policies, procedures, practice model, a handbook for parents, and more.


Statutes and Regulations

Child Abuse and Neglect

The definitions used by OCFS and family court in child protective matters.

What OCFS is generally authorized to do in the course of their task of preventing child abuse and neglect; the duties of OCFS in carrying out its mandate “to protect abused and neglected children and children in circumstances that present a substantial risk of abuse and neglect, to prevent further abuse and neglect, to enhance the welfare of these children and their families and to preserve family life wherever possible.”

A list of “mandated reporters,” or professionals who are required to report known or suspected child abuse or neglect to OCFS, and the rules for when and how they must report.

OCFS acts when a child has been born affected by substance abuse or suffering withdrawal symptoms, whether or not the exposure was to legal or illegal drugs, “regardless of whether or not the child has been abused or neglected.” These are the steps OCFS must take in response, under Maine law.

Requires health care providers involved in the delivery of or care of an infant, including midwives, to make a report to OCFS when they know or have reasonable cause to believe the infant has been born affected by substance abuse or suffering withdrawal.

Regulations governing OFCS process of substantiating allegations of child abuse or neglect, and process for appealing those findings.

In cases where the child has already been taken from the home into foster care, the court may assume that a parent with a “chronic substance abuse problem” and “the parent’s prognosis indicates that the child will not be able to return to the custody of the parent within a reasonable period of time”, they may have their parental rights legally terminated by the court.



 State Marijuana Laws


Maine has had a “decrim law” for decades.  Possession of up to 2 1/2 ounces is only punishable by a sliding scale fine depending on quantity, not to exceed $1000.  There is no protection in the law for parents or guardians.


Medical Marijuana

Maine’s original medical marijuana legislation contained no provision to protect parents, pregnant women, or legal guardians. In 2009, voters passed legislation to fully enact a medical marijuana program in Maine. The 2009 law first included some protections for parents, stating that a person may not be denied custody or visitation of a minor for being a medical marijuana patient “unless it creates an unreasonable  danger to the minor that can be clearly articulated and substantiated.” This language was repealed in early 2010 and replaced with more protective language (see below).

The current version of the law states that a patient acting in compliance with the program’s rules may not be denied parental rights or responsibilities, or contact with a child, unless his or her conduct is contrary to the child’s best interests.

Rules from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services (DLRS) for Maine’s medical marijuana program including registration and cultivation. Section repeats the language in § 2423-E, above.

Government website with more information on the program including full rules and policies.

All Maine Laws & Penalties (NORML)

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