The State Attorney General plays a crucial role in enforcing the state’s standards and protecting people across New Mexico. They have the authority to file lawsuits against businesses that violate state law and to prosecute individuals. This role is a crucial one for the lawful administration of state government.
A new man has entered that office, and he has plans to take key legal steps that will help make some of the most vulnerable people in New Mexico safer. The new Attorney General Raul Torrez recognizes that the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) has had some major failures in recent years.
Specifically, he has expressed concern about children being placed or left in unsafe environments and has promised to take action to review how the organization operates.
The CYFD investigates claims of child abuse, neglect and abandonment. From allegations of parents physically abusing their children to reports of mental health issues, the CYFD must investigate families where children could be at risk and take steps to protect those not receiving the care they deserve from their parents.
The reason the CYFD has the authority to investigate families, create action plans and sometimes even remove children from home environments is to protect those who cannot speak for themselves from both abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, the CYFD frequently fails to properly intervene in cases where abuse is very likely.
There are injuries and sometimes even deaths that result from the CYFD failing to take action to protect children. Now the attorney general has indicated that he intends to work with the governor to tackle issues with how the CYFD has handled cases. Ideally, in the future, the CYFD will have the authority to act to protect children before it is too late.
Accountability programs may also be necessary to prevent more children from slipping through the proverbial cracks in the system. Although reform could make a big difference for families that end up involved with the CYFD in the future, some people will have likely suffered consequences before then.
Filing a personal injury claim or even a wrongful death lawsuit might be an option for families negatively affected by the failings of CYFD and other state agencies.