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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- April is child abuse prevention month in Maine.

To kick off the month, advocates for children gathered in Augusta to push for more resources to combat a problem that continues to grow. Each year thousands of cases of child abuse are reported to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and those numbers are on the rise. DHHS had 20-thousand referrals and 88-hundred findings of abuse or neglect last year.

"We are seeing more children coming into the state's care because of the risks associated with child abuse and neglect", said DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew.

Throughout Maine there are programs in every county focused on prevention. The workers visit homes and schools to assist children and parents. They also provide educational programs aimed at preventing a tragedy.

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