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Gov. Martinez standing behind head of CYFD

Created: 02/10/2014 6:21 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

New Mexico governor Susana Martinez is standing behind CYFD, and says the fact that groups are calling for the secretary to step down will not solve any issues.

Organizations are calling for Secretary Yolanda Deines to step down, after two high-profile cases; one of a four-month-old baby who police say was physically abused, and of Omaree Varela, who was allegedly kicked to death by his mother.

Monday, Governor Martinez stood tall and by her word that she supports Deines.

She also averted attention from CYFD to the APD officers who did not report Omaree's cries for help.

"The boy did cry out and the officers did show up. The only one who can give custody of a child to CYFD. A social worker cannot by law take a child from a parent," Martinez said.

Martinez says it comes down to who is causing the abuse in the first place.

"I think there are (other) Omarees out there, and I think there are parents that are abusing their children, but that's where it starts. It starts at home," Martinez said.

A CYFD spokesperson told KOB Eyewitness News 4 Deines will not resign.

The spokesperson said Deines is working to get caseworkers raises and is trying to get support programs for families at risk for abuse

CYFD Secretary Yolanda Deines

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