To our valued community,
As you know, last week the Governor appointed retired Justice Barbara Vigil as Cabinet Secretary for the Children, Youth and Families Department. We are excited to see someone with a demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of families in our community take over this important role.
The previous administration broke our community’s trust with poor management, a lack of transparency, and dishonesty. However, we know from our work with young people that, regardless of its leadership, CYFD has a long history of playing a harmful and traumatizing role in the lives of children, youth, and families, and that must change. New Mexico’s children and families need and deserve a department that is functional with a bold plan that authentically builds trust, respect, and relationships with families.
Knowing this, we felt it necessary to lead the conversation about what the department needs to become under its leadership, and we started with this Opinion Column in the Albuquerque Journal yesterday. We also hope to support incoming Secretary Vigil by bringing young people to the table to meet with her and have critical conversations about how the design and culture of CYFD must change in order to support children, youth and families. As an organization that is committed to partnering with young people, we believe it is important for us to be louder in the effort to hold the department accountable to the needs of our community, and we look forward to partnering with incoming Secretary Vigil in this work.