Report reviews child abuse epidemic in NM

Created: 04/11/2014 1:27 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

State lawmakers are taking a close look at the child abuse epidemic in New Mexico and what it's costing taxpayers.

The Legislative Finance Committee put together a report that found there are more than 11 child abuse victims per thousand children in New Mexico. About 2,000 kids are in foster care at any given time.

New Mexico spends around $21,000 dollar a year on each foster care placement. According to the report, the state should focus spending on services to prevent abuse and improve parenting skills.

Lawmakers have put a renewed focus on the issue since the tragic case of 9-year-old Omaree Varela. Albuquerque police say he was killed by his mother in December.

The case outraged many in the community.

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