Family Support Services
Family Support Services
We now offer expanded services for pregnant women, new moms, and their families in Hancock and Washington counties:
- Maine Families (Hancock County) provides in-home parenting information while developing caring supportive relationships with parents.
- WIC (Hancock and Washington counties) works to maintain the health of women, infants and children up to age five by providing information on eating well and vouchers for healthy foods.
Sexual Health Resources For Parents
We believe parents are the primary sexuality educators of their children and that you can play an important role in helping young people make healthy decisions about sex. Research shows that youth are more confident in their decisions when they can talk with a trusted adult in their lives. But this doesn’t mean it’s easy to talk about these sensitive topics with your kids. Whether you need support, skills or resources, we’re here to help.
Family Planning Clinical Services
Just because you’ve already started your family doesn’t mean you don’t need family planning services! Whether you’re looking to plan the timing of your next pregnancy, are finished having children, or simply need ongoing, expert reproductive health care to stay healthy, we’re still here for you.
WIC Nutrition Program
WIC Nutrition Program
Maine Family Planning’s WIC program works to maintain the health of women, infants and children up to age five by providing information on healthy eating and vouchers for healthy foods.
Our WIC program is open to people living in Hancock and Washington counties, including migrants working in these counties, who are any of the following:
- Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or had a baby in the last six months.
- Infants and children up to the age of five, including adopted and foster children.
- Fathers may apply for their children.
Getting WIC benefits is simple. Call one of our WIC offices (below) to make an appointment. Your first appointment will take about an hour of your time – an hour that can benefit you and your children for the rest of your lives.
Find out if you are eligible for the WIC program by using this prescreening tool.
Maine Family Planning WIC Offices
Maine Family Planning operates three WIC offices:
43 Union Street
248 State St. (Mill Mall)
247 Main Street, Suite 2
Find more WIC resources here.
Talking to your Child About Sexuality
Did you know that most teens want their parents and caregivers to share information with them about sexual health topics? It’s true!
At the same time, we understand that these conversations between parents and children do not come easily. Here are a few tips and resources for parents.
- Reassure your kids that they are normal
- Be receptive to your child’s questions-you don’t need to be an expert
- Don’t wait to be asked – use teachable moments when watching a movie or listening to music to start a conversation
- Use correct terms when sharing information
- Remember it’s not about having the big talk – it’s about having many, ongoing conversations
Looking for even more information? Here are some online resources we like:
- Teachingsexualhealth.ca Check out the Parent Portal for information on sexual development, communication, bullying, healthy relationships, and sexual diversity, and contains webisodes on how to talk to your kids about these issues.
- I wanna know Information on being an ‘askable’ parent. Includes links to teen sites about puberty, STIs, abstinence, decision-making and condom use.
- Kids health This site has helpful information on talking with your kids, information on puberty, and surviving adolescence.
- Sexuality Resource Center for Parents Here you will find information for parents of children with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
- PFLAG This site is for parents, families, and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals
Maine Families works to make your life as a parent a little easier and more satisfying, so you can give your child the best possible start in life.
Professional home visitors provide timely parenting information while developing caring supportive relationships with parents. Maine Families services are offered at no charge to families.
During the first meeting, the home visitor talks about what services will be available to you. Visits will be scheduled at your convenience and will focus on your stage of pregnancy or on the age of your baby. You may be offered books, educational materials, videos and other tools that may be borrowed for use with your child and family.
Maine Families topics include:
- baby and child health care
- breastfeeding/formula feeding
- child growth and development
- toilet training
- child safety
- household safety
- local resources
If you live in Hancock County and are expecting or parenting a baby, you are invited to take part in Maine Families at no charge. Call 667-5304 or email for more information.
Maine Families Play Group
Our Maine Families program is now offering a play group for infants and toddlers (birth to 3 years) and their parent(s) or other caregiver. There is no charge for attending this group.
This weekly play group is held:
10:00 to 11:30 am
Congregational Church of Ellsworth
2 Church Street
(across from the court house)
No Registration Needed!
Stop by and join us any Thursday!
For more information call Maine Families at: 667-5304, ext. 225
Maine Families is funded by the Federal Maternal, Infant, Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) grant and administered by DHHS.
- Ask the Mediatrician is the website of Dr. Michael Rich, the Director of the Center on Media and child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. Although not specifically about sexuality and sexual health, this is a good resource for parents.
- Child Welfare League of America — Nonpartisan policy and advocacy organization for children. Updates on federal legislation and action alerts. Information about other resources on children’s issues.
- HealthyChildren.org This section for parents has excellent articles including, Adolescent Sexuality: Talk the Talk Before They Walk the Walk.
- Healthy Steps — This national initiative aims to improve the quality of preventive health care for families and toddlers.
- Home Safety Council – Safe Kids Worldwide is a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children.
- KidsHealth — This site includes information on children’s health and parenting.
- March of Dimes – Helps moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.
- National Fatherhood Initiative – increase father involvement and improve the lives of children.
- Parent Further – Ideas for growing healthy, thriving children and adolescents.
- Search Institute — An independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide leadership, knowledge, and resources to promote healthy children, youth, and communities.
- Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) — Focuses primarily on the adults in the lives of gifted children. SENG provides information on identification, guidance, and effective ways to live and work with gifted individuals.
- Talking with Kids about Tough Issues – These practical tips and techniques can help you talk easily and openly with young children ages 8 to 12 about very tough topics.
- US Department of Education — See featured items for parents including Back to School Checklist, Helping Your Child, Tips for Parents and many others.
- WonderWise Parent — Designed for parents, grandparents, foster parents, stepparents, caregivers, teachers, and parent educators. It was created and is maintained by Kansas State University.
- Your Child: Development and Behavior Resources — University of Michigan website that guides parents through the tangle of Internet information on kids’ development and behavior.
- ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families – provides parents, professionals, and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nuture early development.