Across New Mexico, grandparents have become an unofficial safety net, stepping up to raise the grandkids when their own children can’t. Cases of “kinship guardianship,” as it is known, are hardly unique to the state. But in New Mexico, where family ties run deep, grandparents are playing an unusually common role in caring for their grandkids.
Expensive, buggy software has resulted in needy families being improperly denied benefits throughout New Mexico.
With the closure of La Familia-Namaste, options for treatment foster care in New Mexico will be reduced further, leaving families scrambling to find vital services for their kids.
Five New Mexico residents are suing the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), claiming the state is effectively cheating eligible low-income families out of money to pay for child care.
The number of children being raised by grandparents has exploded across New Mexico, nearly doubling to more than 55,000 — 10 percent of all the state’s children — since 1990. But many of those grandparents have found themselves denied assistance, often even when they meet eligibility requirements.
Sara Tafoya never pictured herself as one of New Mexico’s at-risk students. She came from a supportive, college-educated family in Albuquerque, had once earned good grades, and entertained dreams of going to college and becoming a physical therapist.
But in her sophomore year, Tafoya “attracted bad situations,” skipping classes – sometimes for weeks at a time. By the time she found out she was pregnant at age 15, she faced a hurdle that typically derails a girl’s education.
The 11-year-old boy’s explanation didn’t make sense. He had shown up Sept. 25, 2017, at San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington — purple bruises covering his body, ligature marks on his neck, a patch of hair ripped from his head and black eyes so badly swollen he couldn’t latch his glasses behind his ears. […]