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Governor Highlights CYFD Reform

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Governor Susana Martinez outlined specifics for how New Mexico can better combat child abuse and neglect during her State of the State address today

Last year’s high-profile death of 9-year-old Omaree Varela sparked outrage. He had been referred to the Children, Youth and Families Department nine times and called 911 months before he died. Response times to child abuse allegations have gone up over the last three years, according to a 2014 report. 

"We will also have the technology in place to finally allow police officers access to the CYFD history of a family when they are dispatched to a child abuse incident," she said.

Martinez added that CYFD caseworkers, police officers and others who investigate child abuse and neglect should be housed together in seven new child advocacy centers. 

"Every single person in our state should be required to protect our children and report child abuse if they know or suspect it to be occurring," she said.

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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