207-761-2709 | Monday - Friday, 9 am to 4 pm info@kidsfirstcenter.org

About Kids First Center

In our programs for parents, Kids First explores the evolving definition of what it means to be a family. We serve families who share a child or children but do not live together with their child’s other parent. Kids First supports the notion that love is love, and encourages the building of families in a multitude of ways. The focus of our programming is on safe and healthy co-parenting whenever possible, and keeping conflict away from the kids. Kids First offers a series of classes that provide practical information and emotional support to parents, regardless of their marital status.

Have questions?

If you'd like to learn more about our programs or to apply for financial assistance, please email us at info@kidsfirstcenter.org, or call us at 207-761-2709, Monday-Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. Need-based scholarships for Maine residents are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Maine Judicial Branch. The Kids First Center's goal is to make its programming affordable for all parents, children, and allies regardless of financial hardship.

Our Mission

Kids First Center’s Strives To:

Give children a neutral place where they can freely express their feelings about the separation or divorce of their parents and better understand the changes in their families.

Equip parents with the skills they need to work together to raise healthy and well-adjusted children through the transition of separation and divorce, and beyond.

Provide resources, continuing education, and collaboration opportunities for professionals who work with separating families.

Our History


Awareness of impact of parental conflict grows (1980s)

The need for a coordinated response is identified (1988)

Resources for Divorced Families (RFDF) formed (1989)

Junior League and RFDF partner to form a non-profit (1996)

Kids First Center formed as 501(3)(c) corporation (1998)


Kids First Center opens an office in Portland (1998)

Center adds a dedicated classroom (2006)

Center moves to Scarborough as mission grows (2019)

All programming goes virtual (2020)

Outreach extends to all of Maine (2021)


RFDF develops four-hour co-parenting program (1989)

Next Step and children’s groups added to First Step program (1998)

ICOPE added to serve parents in high conflict (2003)

What Kids Want Parents to Know About Separation & Divorce published (2008)

Across program review and update commences (2019)


Shelley Cohen Conrad and Michael Asen lead group of visionaries (1998)

Margaret “Peg” Libby becomes first Executive Director (1998)

Creation of Kids First Advisory Council (2011)

Peg Libby retires after 18 years of service (2016)

Nicolle Carbone named new Executive Director (2016)

Timothy Robbins appointed Executive Director (2019)


Family Law Achievement Award (1999 and 2010)

NASW Agency of the Year Award (1999)

Community Impact Merit Award (2000)

Beach to Beacon charity recipient (2001)

AFCC Exemplary Program Award (2004)

Our Staff

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Timothy E. Robbins

Executive Director

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Aniela Barr

Assoc. Dir. Operations

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Elisabeth Medina

Program Manager

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Mary Swann

Special Projects Manager

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Emily Wasserman

Program Assistant

Photography Services Donated by Pattie Locke Photography.

Kids First Center Board

  • Board of Directors
  • Jennifer Pallozzi, President
  • Steve Young, Vice-President
  • Celine Couillaut, Treasurer
  • Susan Wiggin, Secretary
  • Jennifer Davis, Immediate Past President
  • Jonathan Asen
  • Garrett Duchesne
  • Brittany Eaton
  • Kristin Murray-James
  • Melissa Kravitz Suey
  • Tammy Weston
  • Advisory Council
  • Cushman D. Anthony
  • Michael P. Asen
  • Alan F. Barthelman
  • Phyllis G. Givertz
  • Hon. Andrew M. Horton
  • Neil D. Jamieson, Jr.
  • G.M. (Bucky) Johnson
  • Shelley Cohen Konrad
  • Susan H. Livingston

Program Facilitators

  • Karen MacDonald
  • Lisa Chmelecki
  • Alicia Cushing
  • Terri DeCoster
  • Jason Dionne
  • Christopher Leddy
  • Jeffrey Levy
  • Betsy Van Betuw
  • Pamela Waite
  • David Webb
  • Susan Wiggin
  • Steve Young

Our Partners


Web Design & Maintenance


Grant Writing


What Parents Say ...