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New Mexico child welfare officials plan to recruit 190 new foster families by year's end

Kaveh Mowahed

The Children, Youth and Families Department has received consistent backlash concerning issues of transparency. The department hosted a meeting Tuesday to announce the launch of a new dashboard that officials say promotes more opennes. The site has several data points to show progress with things like staffing and efforts to recruit foster parents.

Finding appropriate housing placements for foster youth has been a challenge for CYFD. In the last few years the department has been placing children in office buildings and shelters that don’t offer necessary resources, like mental health services.

Interim Secretary Teresa Casados said that CYFD is hoping to recruit 190 non-relative foster families by the end of the year by building a community that relies not only on giving financial payments on time to families, but providing training and collaboration.

"We really believe that with recruiting the right foster families and providing the supports, we’ll have families that can support all of the kids that we bring into those offices and find a place where they can be placed immediately and be successful out there" said Casados.

The state currently has 17 licensed non-relative foster homes and the process of receiving licensing usually takes 120 days but ultimately depends on staffing.

By recruiting non-relative foster families, CYFD officials said case workers will be able to better find placements in a timely manner and get foster youth in a family setting quickly.

This coverage is made possible by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners.

Taylor is a reporter with our Poverty and Public Health project. She is a lover of books and a proud dog mom. She's been published in Albuquerque The Magazine several times and enjoys writing about politics and travel.
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  • Let's Talk New Mexico, 4/27/23: Three years ago, the state promised to stop housing foster youth in offices and youth shelters that don't have the necessary mental healthcare resources. However, a recent reporting series found that these practices are still going on amongst many other challenges. , we’ll take a look at the current standing of our child welfare system and what it will take to ensure foster youth are finding supportive placements, while working to comply with the Kevin S. lawsuit.
  • On the last Let’s Talk New Mexico we discussed our state’s troubled foster care system. After many listener calls and emails and many new questions, we’ve decided to continue the conversation this week – focusing on solutions.