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CAI Holds Congressional Briefing to Unveil New Report:

Shame on U.S.
Failings by All Three Branches of Our Federal Government Leave
Abused and Neglected Children Vulnerable to Further Harm
January 27, 2015

The federal government's dereliction allows states to fall short on meeting minimum child welfare standards. Below is information specific to New Mexico:

CFSR Results Summary: In its Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process, HHS determines whether each state is in substantial conformity with 7 specific outcomes (pertaining to the areas of safety, permanency and family and child well-being) and 7 systemic factors (relating to the quality of services delivered to children and families and the outcomes they experience).  In the first two rounds of the CFSR, HHS has concluded that New Mexico was:

Round 1 (2002)

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 6 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 1 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Round 2 (2007)   

  • NOT in substantial conformity with 7 of the 7 Outcomes
  • NOT in substantial conformity with 4 of the 7 Systemic Factors

Although federal law mandates that any state found not to be operating in substantial conformity during an initial or subequent review must begin a full review within two years after approval of the state's program improvement plan, HHS has announced that New Mexico will not undergo Round 3 of the CFSR until FY 2015 (see CFSR Technical Bulletin #7 (March 2014)).

Documents from the U.S. Health & Human Services Children's Bureau

Child Welfare In the News**

  • Lawmakers grill new CYFD chief on unspent funds for child welfare (The New Mexican - January 28, 2015) Instead of endorsing the Legislative Finance Committee staff's recommendation to bring on 66 new employees to handle child abuse investigations, Jacobson supported a plan from the Department of Finance and Administration -- where her husband is employed. It calls for 45 new positions. Jacobson said her stance is based on the department's needs and priorities, and that she won't ask for more money than the department needs.
  • State makes little progress in child welfare; child poverty rises (Albuquerque Business First - January 20, 2015) New data released through the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT program put New Mexico 49th in the nation for children's well-being - a slight improvement over last year's dead-last ranking. Poverty rates among New Mexico's children, however, actually rose, even as they fell nationwide.
  • Lawmaker proposes mandatory family services in abuse cases (Associated Press - January 13, 2015) A New Mexico lawmaker wants to make it mandatory for parents or guardians to receive court-ordered family services when abuse or neglect of a child is suspected.
  • CYFD seeks $10M to expand child welfare reforms (Associated Press - January 02, 2015) It will take an infusion of about $10 million if New Mexico wants to move ahead with and expand reforms to improve the way child abuse cases are investigated and tracked in New Mexico, according to child welfare officials. The Children, Youth and Families Department made that case for the funding during a Legislative Finance Committee meeting last month.
  • Better child-care options can help combat fatal child abuse (Las Cruces Sun-News - December 14, 2014)
    New Mexico has consistently had one of the highest rates of fatal child abuse and neglect in the country in recent years. For four of the past five years, New Mexico has been among the eight states with the highest number of per-capita child abuse and neglect deaths.

**news summaries taken from daily newsfeed service of HHS' Child Welfare Information Gateway



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Children's Advocacy Institute
University of San Diego School of Law
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