To our valued community,
As you know, the Governor signed into law the creation of the Office of Family Representation and Advocacy (OFRA) earlier this year. We believe the creation of this office will improve legal representation for children and families involved in allegations of abuse and neglect. Quality legal representation is critical to ensure that families get access to the support and resources they need to be together safely whenever possible. As Chief Judge Jennifer DeLaney from the Sixth Judicial District Court shared at our recent Breakfast with Youth Leaders, this is the first step on the road to creating just policies and systems.
As an organization that partners with young people impacted by foster care, NMCAN celebrates OFRA in this Opinion Column in the Albuquerque Journal today. We also challenge harmful narratives about parents and family reunification that are currently being promoted in media and
community spaces. The majority of foster care cases are due to neglect, which is directly related to poverty, and family separation is traumatic for children and leads to poor outcomes. If we truly want to improve the lives of our families, friends, and neighbors, we must start with productive conversations about solutions that address the root causes of abuse and neglect. And these conversations must include the young people and families who have been impacted. We need community-led solutions that support and uplift families.
Acting Executive Director