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DHHS outlines history, details of Marissa Kennedy case

Shortly after the sentence was handed down, the Maine DHHS released details of more than two years of interactions with the girl and her family

AUGUSTA, Maine — Sharon (Carillo) Kennedy was sentenced to 48 years in prison Friday for the murder of her daughter, 10-year old Marissa Kennedy, in 2018. Kennedy's former husband, Julio Carillo, is already serving a 55-year sentence for the crime. Marissa Kennedy died as a result of repeated abuse in her home.

Shortly after the sentence was handed down, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services released details of more than two years of interactions with the girl and the family, dating back to the fall of 2016. 

The lengthy summary shows many meetings and discussions between the family and DHHS caseworkers, involvement with mental health and medical providers, reports from school staff and neighbors of concerns over Marissa's well- being, reports of violence in the home and multiple contacts with police. 

Read the 12-page summary below:

RELATED: Sharon Kennedy to be sentenced for murder of 10-year-old daughter, Marissa

DHHS states that since the deaths of Marissa Kennedy and Kendall Chick, it has:

  • Added more than 130 staff to the Office of Child and Family Services, including 33 child protective caseworkers, to help prevent abuse, neglect and unhealthy experiences among children.
  • Established a Cooperative Agreement with the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service to improve training for new caseworkers and foster parents, update policies, and bolster workforce development
  • Hired a new medical director and contracted to provide clinical support to caseworkers, allowing them to consult with clinicians on their cases and receive support to meet the demands of their jobs
  • Implemented a modernized intake telephone system for reports of child abuse and neglect, increasing the number of calls answered live and decreasing the rate of abandoned calls and wait times
  • Awarded a contract to develop a new, modern Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System
  • Extended the eligibility for Public Health Nursing home visits to all newborns
  • Launched a statewide public education campaign called Safe Sleep for ME
  • Established a web-based, publicly-accessible dashboard  of key data indicators for Child Welfare, Children’s Behavioral Health, and Early Childhood Education
  • Won $5.5 million in federal funding as one of 10 states chosen to participate in the federal Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) Model  , to improve care for pregnant and postpartum women with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and their infants

DHHS also provided written statements from the department's Commissioner and the director of the Division of Child and Family Services.

RELATED: Sharon Kennedy sentenced to 48 years behind bars for 10-year-old daughter's murder

Statement from Commissioner Lambrew:

“The tragic death of Marissa Kennedy, along with that of Kendall Chick, sheds long-overdue light on Maine’s child welfare system. While we have further to go, we are on a path to reform and progress. We maintain our commitment to transparency and learning from the past as we strive for a system that promotes safety, stability, health and happiness for all Maine children and families.”

Statement from  Child and Family Services Director Todd Landry:

“While we have made strides, a great deal more work lies ahead. We have strong leaders and advocates in Governor Mills, Commissioner Lambrew, and members of the Legislature; insightful, engaged, staff and stakeholders committed to the safety and wellbeing of Maine’s children and families; and experts across the nation lending us their expertise and experience. Together, we can create a future where all Maine children are safe, first and foremost, but also stable, happy, and healthy.”

RELATED: More relatives raising 'at risk' children outside the state’s foster care system

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