AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine's Republican governor is defending his decision against renewing a contract for a child abuse prevention program.

Gov. Paul LePage's office says that some similar services are already provided by Maine's existing child abuse and neglect councils. The governor himself experienced abuse as a child.

The Community Partnerships for Protecting Children pilot project currently provides abuse prevention services in a number of Maine communities.

LePage's office says the Department of Health and Human Services decided to not renew contracts for the program over concerns that the program may be redundant in some ways.

But the agency is meeting with providers and believes some parts of the program are valuable.

South Portland schools Superintendent Ken Kunin tells the Portland Press Herald the program has been a "tremendous asset" in his community.