A recent report shows that the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department is failing to do its job – which is to protect vulnerable children.
The Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) report discovered that:
- 40% of children reported to CYFD for a severe injury had already had contact with the CYPD in the past twelve months.
- 14% of kids who the CYPD found to have been maltreated had suffered other instances of maltreatment that were brought to the CYFD’s attention during the previous twelve months.
In other words, the New Mexico CYFD is failing to take sufficient action to keep children who it knows to have suffered abuse safe from further abuse.
While it is crucial that the CYFD does not split children up from their families unnecessarily, it is even more critical that it only reunites them once it is safe to do so.
Returning abused kids to their families too early could be fatal
This is demonstrated by the case of an Albuquerque boy who died after the CYFD returned him to his mother’s care. What made that case even more frightening is the CYFD took steps to cover up the evidence that it had made the wrong decision.
Mistakes will happen, and humans can be unpredictable, but any organization tasked with people’s safety must take steps to improve constantly. That means learning from their errors, not trying to hide them. As the LFC report also found that New Mexico’s CYFD constantly sits in the top six worst in the country, it’s clear they are not doing that. At least not well enough.
If you believe the CYFD could have prevented the death of a child you love, seek help to understand more about a wrongful death lawsuit.