A closer look at the CYFD Advisory Council

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Immediate changes are in the works at the state Children Youth and Families Department, and it’s not the doing of lawmakers this legislative session.

Only a few bills made it through the Roundhouse, like House Bill 35, House Bill 148, Senate Bill 31, and Senate Bill 107.

Instead, much of that change is coming straight from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s executive order in February. It elevates the divisions within CYFD that need more attention, while requiring an annual audit, and creating an Office of Innovation. It includes a new CYFD advisory council.

“You should expect to see this advisory council really identifying new strategies for services, supports, interaction,” said Lujan Grisham Monday.

The six-member council is tasked with providing innovative solutions to issues facing the welfare system.

“Everyone is upset, so providers don’t feel like their voices are being heard in the decisions that CYFD makes, foster families don’t feel like they’re being heard in the decision CYFD makes,” Lujan Grisham said.

The council will meet regularly and explore challenges and opportunities to build support and systems.

“We want a group that is representative of all of those systems to be able to talk to us on a regular basis, like a policy board, who will not only identify strategies then hold the department accountable on whether those strategies were successfully implemented,” said Lujan Grisham. 

There are still a lot of questions about the role of the council and how those solutions will get implemented and the path forward.

Reps with the governor’s office said in the next couple of weeks the council will have a series of roundtables.  The first meeting will be with foster families and providers.