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Senator Gay Kernan Advances Legislation to Bring Needed Reform to CYFD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 23, 2021 Contact: Joaquin Romero (505) 506-5798 Senator Gay Kernan Advances Legislation to Bring Needed Reform to CYFD SANTA FE – On Monday, Senator Gay Kernan (District 42-Chaves, Lea, and Eddy) advanced Senate Bill 242 with a “do pass” recommendation from the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee. The bill makes significant changes to the Abuse and Neglect Act which established citizen oversight over the wellbeing of children in state custody. The bulk of the reform effort aims for greater accountability between the citizen board and the Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD). “Our job as the state when taking a child into our custody is to protect that child from harm and abuse,” said Senator Kernan. “The department charged with the duty to protect our state’s most vulnerable should be effective, efficient, and caring. The changes we have outlined are practical reforms that give teeth to the intent of the original law.” Previously, recommendations made by the board to CYFD were not enacted due to a lack of accountability. Senate Bill 242 is supported by social workers, foster parents, judges, and CYFD. “We can only elevate the work done by CYFD when there is accountability to the stakeholders,” Senator Kernan continued. “Our unceasing goal should always be to better the health and well-being of children in our state.” Senate Bill 242 will now advance to the Senate Judiciary Committee. ###

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