CYFD convenes team of experts to help children rescued from NM compound | KOB 4
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CYFD convenes team of experts to help children rescued from NM compound

Chris Ramirez
August 29, 2018 10:18 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The eleven children who were rescued from a compound in northern Northern New Mexico will remain in CYFD custody, despite charges being dropped against three of the adults who were accused of child abuse.

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New Mexico law requires CYFD to go back to court within 60 days of receiving the children to allow the biological parents a chance to tell a judge why the children should be returned to their care.

While CYFD has custody of the children, the agency plans to provide them with a large team of experts to help them heal.

"It became apparent to me that while we have some amazing experts here in New Mexico, we weren't necessarily equipped to handle this specific set of circumstances to the extent that I wanted us to," said CYFD Cabinet Secretary Monique Jacobson.

A team of psychiatrists, pediatricians, social workers, investigators and trauma specialists have been making plans on how to help the eleven children.

According to law enforcement reports, the older children were trained to use assault rifles in preparation of a school shooting.

A trauma specialist, who flew in from Nevada, said the children may have suffered from major emotional damage. 

"You can liken it to child soldiers overseas and how we treat them and reintegrate them back into a community," said forensic traumatologist Halleh Seddighzadeh. "There are protocols and practices that are excellent and are being done all over the world that we will, in this unique concept, we will absolutely apply for the restoration and healing of those children."

The children are staying with caretakers, away from the compound where law enforcement reported they had little access to food and water. They now have a bed to sleep on and a place to bathe.

Still, the experts understand that people in the community may be worried about whether the children pose a threat to public safety. They say they plan to make sure children receive the necessary care. 

"With potential risks of radicalizations -- these are still children, they've been exploited and groomed.  There are programs and procedures in this multi-disciplinary team, as well as the leadership here in wanting to establish the infrastructure to be able to address this," said Seddighzadeh

Four of the children are under 5 years old. The team is making sure they receive the proper mental care as well.

"We are determining what resources these children need. A couple of them have been referred to an early-intervention group here in town. We've been providing psycho-education to the foster family on having children who have experienced overwhelming trauma," said Ph.D Jane Clark, a specialist in infant care. 

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Chris Ramirez

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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