I am thrilled that the public is starting to question the competence and professionalism of the Children, Youth and Families Department. Too many kids have been left in abusive homes, where they are either killed...or end up killing in self-defense, like the boy mentioned below, who we have posted about here before.
CYFD, Residents Face Off In Second Meeting
Officials Decide To Create Task Force
POSTED: 10:43 pm MDT October 20, 2009
UPDATED: 11:00 pm MDT October 20, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Children, Youth and Families Department and Valencia County residents faced off in a meeting Tuesday night.
It was the second meeting of its kind in the past two weeks.
The room was packed with people demanding to know how the agency was working to improve things for children in their community.
For hours, CYFD officials listed to the concerns of residents.
In the end, the only concrete decision that was made was to create a task force.
Frustrated, Valencia County residents stood up and addressed CYFD officials.
One woman said the recent child horror stories in this community are enough.
She said she was at the last meeting and wondered if the message of concern was clearly delivered.
"I want to know, did CYFD hear that? That's what I'm asking. What did you hear last week?" she said.
Some in the county said they're worried about area kids.
In August, a 10-year-boy shot his father.
There were reports CYFD came to the home numerous times before the shooting to investigate child abuse, but officials said they found nothing.
And in the past few weeks, community members learned of more tragedy when a toddler was allegedly beaten to death by his stepfather.
Family members said the death of Michael Montiel could have been prevented if CYFD had stepped in while it was investigating the home earlier in the year.
"So yes, we called this meeting and we'll continue to call them," said Romaine Serna with CYFD.
CYFD listened to the issues residents brought up and assured them the agency is doing more to help families here.
CYFD said it's forming a Valencia County child protection task force.
Karen Romero volunteered to be a member.
"I'm concerned about the children. I'm a parent. I'm a social worker. I'm a community member and most of all I'm just concerned about the kids," Romero said.
CYFD said it is taking names of those who want to be on the task force and hopes to have a meeting with members soon.
It will be made up of Valencia County School, law enforcement and social service leaders as well as community members.
CYFD is planning another community forum but has yet to schedule it.