New Mexico’s current system of determining who has the authority to remove children from their family based on suspected abuse or neglect needs drastic reform.
Research shows that children who are removed from their home and their family often suffer more detrimental effects than those who are not removed from their home. This system also costs New Mexico taxpayers and families millions of dollars per year.
These negative impacts are likely related to the trauma associated with parental separation and the child’s feelings of fear, uncertainty, and abandonment.
Recently introduced legislation, Senate Bill 324, will work to fix this broken system by:
• Shifting removal authority from law enforcement to the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) which is required to obtain court approval
• Removing the burden of this decision from law enforcement, allowing them to focus on public safety and building trust within our communities
• Eliminating the need for CYFD to transmit to law enforcement reports of alleged abuse or neglect that are not accepted by Statewide Centralized Intake (SCI)
Urge your lawmakers to improve short-stay foster care placements and end unnecessary trauma to families and children by supporting SB 324!