Months after legislative approval, CYFD task force still not formed | KOB 4

Months after legislative approval, CYFD task force still not formed

Brittany Costello
September 27, 2019 08:32 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- From Jeremiah Valencia to Victoria Martens, the names and faces of some of New Mexico’s youngest victims of crime are etched into people’s minds.


The horror stories have grown familiar to many foster families.

“We had gotten a call from our social worker who said, ‘We know you're going be home. There's this child who came into custody we don't know if she's going survive,’” recalled Pamela Michaels, foster care advocate.

People like Michaels felt a sense of hope when House Memorial 10 was passed and signed during the 2019 legislative session.

It called for a creation of a task force to focus on the ins and outs of its relationship with foster families.

“Foster parents have a unique perspective when it comes to the needs for the children they care for,” said New Mexico

Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) spokesperson Melody Wells.  “The kinds of services available, as well as their ability to access services and their ability to do all that it takes to raise a child.”

However, months after the legislative session, the task force has not been formed.

Wells said they are looking to bring more than a dozen people to the table.

“They really want a full picture of what’s been going on with CYFD, so as they take on these roles they can actually make sure CYFD becomes better,” Wells said. “We're always trying to improve.”

Officials hope to have the task force staffed in October.


Brittany Costello

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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