Maine Families in Knox County Newsletter, November 2023

Happy fall to all of our partners in the community!

Here is an update on what Maine Families Mid-Coast has been up to these past couple of months:

Welcoming New Staff

In order to accommodate the growing interest in our program we have brought on another Parent Education Professional to serve in Cumberland County. Cathy Bartlett Gray comes to us with 8 years of experience working in the UMaine Extension as a 4-H Professional, Community Education Assistant and Extension Homemaker Advisor in Androscoggin/Sagadahoc. She is getting up to speed on our various trainings and has already been on a few shadow visits. We are so pleased to welcome her aboard.

Ongoing Group Connection at Coastal Children’s Museum

As many of you know, one of the goals of our program is to connect the families we serve to their wider community. After consulting with parents in the program about what would be most valuable, we settled on an ongoing monthly playgroup at the Coastal Children’s Museum in Rockland. Maine Families Mid-Coast was able to secure funding for a year’s worth of private sessions at the museum for participating families. Below are some photos of playgroups in September and October.

Testimonials from Annual Survey

In Spring of 2023, the University of Southern Maine, in collaboration with local agencies, distributed a survey to families enrolled in the Maine Families program. The survey was designed to gather information from Maine Families participants about their experiences with the program. The survey was administered online with an option for agencies to request paper copies for participants if needed. We have included one section of the survey where participants were asked to speak to the effectiveness of our program and their bond with their Parent Education Professional.

Table 2. Tell us how you feel about your home visitor and Maine Families
Agree or agree strongly
I am comfortable talking with my family visitor. 97%
My family visitor supports me on the goals I have set for my child, myself, and my family. 97%
My family visitor helps me find useful services in my community. 97%
My family visitor shares parenting ideas with me. 100%
My family visitor understands my needs and concerns. 100%
My family visitor treats me and my family with respect. 100%
My family visitor is sensitive to my values, beliefs, and traditions. 96%
My family visitor asks for my ideas and opinions. 100%
My family visitor helps me feel more confident about myself and what I am capable of. 97%
I trust my family visitor. 97%
I feel connected to my family visitor. (There is a bond between us.) 100%


Table 3. Participating in Maine Families has helped me…
Agree or agree strongly
Understand my child’s growth and development (or prenatal development). 100%
Feel better about my parenting. 97%
Know how to keep my child(ren) healthy. 93%
Feel less stressed. 90%
Find positive ways to guide my child(ren)’s behavior. 100%
Find more support from family, friends, or community. 93%
Know how to make my home safe(r) for my child(ren). 100%
Connect with other families through playgroups, Facebook groups, family events/gatherings, or group connections. 81%

We are pleased to share these positive results and appreciate your referrals which are instrumental in helping us raise awareness of our program. Here are two common ways to refer, through the CradleME form on the CradleME: A Referral System for All Birthing Families in Maine website, or simply by going to the Parent Program of Mid-Coast Maine, Inc. website and clicking on the “Learn More And/Or Enroll” blue button in the sidebar menu.

Thank you to all of our community partners for continuing to uplift our work and spread the word about Maine Families! See you next time!

— Hannah Pennington, Claudia Williamson, and GG

In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, familial status, ancestry, age, disability physical or mental, genetic information, or veterans or military status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity, 5713 Chadbourne Hall, Room 412, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5713, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).

This brief newsletter will go out quarterly and will keep providers up to date on what is happening within our program. It is being provided by three Parent Education Professionals who cover Knox and Lincoln Counties: Hannah Pennington, Parent Educator, Maine Families in Knox and Lincoln Counties; Claudia Williamson, Parent Education Professional/Maine Families Visitor, Knox County; and Gretchen Gee (GG), Parent Education Professional, Knox and Lincoln Counties. If you think of someone who would benefit from receiving this newsletter please share it with them.