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Let's Talk About Changing The Foster Care System

Tug of war statue at Roundhouse
New Mexico In Depth
Tug of war statue at Roundhouse

Let’s Talk New Mexico 5/20 8am: Life can be tough for kids in New Mexico’s foster care system. In fact, a lawsuit brought against the state in 2018 alleged that “New Mexico’s child welfare practices systematically re-traumatize vulnerable children”by severing them from contact with extended family members and their community, shuffling them from home to home, not providing adequate mental health care and not considering factors like tribal enrollment when placing kids with families. But that all may be changing for the better.

Last year, New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department agreed to a legal settlement that by 2023 would radically reform how kids in New Mexico’s foster care system are treated. 


On this week’s Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll be taking a look at those reforms and how the state is doing with implementing them. We’ll talk to plaintiffs in the original lawsuit, young people who came out of the foster care system and organizations that support foster kids in our state. And we want to hear from you! Are you, or, have you been a kid in a foster home? What was the experience like? Or, are you a foster parent? What do you think works or doesn’t work with the system as it’s currently operating? Email us at LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show.


Therese Yanan, Native American Disability Law Center


Brian Blalock, Secretary, New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department


Ezra Spitzer, Executive Director, NMCAN

Hope Alvarado, Youth Leader, NMCAN

Marissa Vigil, Youth Leader, NMCAN

Ty Bannerman has been writing about New Mexico for over a decade. He is the author of the history book Forgotten Albuquerque and his work has appeared in New Mexico Magazine, Atlas Obscura, Eater, and the American Literary Review. While at the Weekly Alibi, Albuquerque’s alternative newspaper, he served as food editor, features editor and managing editor. He co-hosts two podcasts: City on the Edge, which tells Albuquerque stories, and Anytown, USA, which virtually explores a different US county each week. He has two children and way too many dogs and chickens.
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