AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine is ending a child abuse prevention program that officials say is too similar to another state program.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services says the $2.2 million Community Partnerships for Protecting Children program has the same goals as the state's Child Abuse and Neglect Councils.

She tells the Portland Press Herald the department has a responsibility to taxpayers to ensure that its programs are not duplicative. She also says the department funded the program believing it was evidence-based but has determined it doesn't meet that standard.

The program started with the South Portland-based nonprofit Opportunity Alliance. Executive director Mike Tarpinian says ending it will put children in jeopardy.

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


Information from: Portland Press Herald,