Recording captures alleged CYFD caseworker yelling at child
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Friends of a local teen have a lot to say about a recorded interaction between their friend and her apparent social worker from CYFD.
“You want me to go pick your ass up right now and take you to a f***** shelter and I’ll leave your ass there?”
Imagine a moment of crisis and that’s the voice on the other end of the line.
“I don’t know who you think you’re talking to thinking you’re all badass. But I’m not your mom, I’m not your dad and I’m not your damn friend, I am doing my damn job. You young lady are rude and disrespectful as hell.”
Friends of an alleged Albuquerque teenage abuse victim posted the video on social media.
“She just didn’t want to go home,” said Josephine Valenti, friend of the victim.
They say it’s a recorded interaction with that victim and a Children Youth and Families Department caseworker.
“She has just not been really happy at home,” said Josephine Austring.
They say a call to police led to CYFD.
Ultimately, that victim did not want to go home, and this follow-up phone call with the alleged caseworker:
“I don’t know what you guys are doing having a threesome sex, if they’re sex trafficking you. You’re using drugs, drinking alcohol, acting like a grown-ass woman.”
The woman on the video accused her of doing drugs, drinking, and doing sexual acts – but did it happen?
“No, when I heard that I was disturbed by that,” said Valenti.
The phone call is just a small piece of a much larger story, of course. But it brings up the question, is it ever okay to speak to a child like that?
The victim’s friends say absolutely not.
“The goal is to get it out and show people this is how CYFD in Albuquerque New Mexico is talking to children. Children who are coming to them for help,” said Josephine Valenti.
KOB 4 sent that video to CYFD, they have not confirmed that it’s a worker on the other end of the line. But they say they have launched an investigation into the video.
The department sent a statement saying:
“The video that was provided to CYFD is very disturbing indeed. We take all allegations of employee misconduct very seriously and will immediately begin a full investigation of the incident recorded in the video.
We require all CYFD employees at every level to interact with youth and children in a caring and respectful manner. No young person should be treated in a manner as shown in the video.
Any youth with CYFD interactions are encouraged to report inappropriate worker conduct to the Office of Children’s Rights. A grievance may be filed by text or phone call at: (505) 228-6797, or by email at: CYFD.YouthGrievance@state.nm.us. Young people in need of emotional support may also call the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. Parents, resource parents or others may submit their concerns or complaints to Office of Constituent Affairs, at (505)681-2486, or Kaitlyn.Eichers@state.nm.us.
We will continue to strive to serve our children and families in an appropriate and respectful manner.”
Officials say youth can report inappropriate interactions with employees to the office of children’s rights.