Rep. Rebecca Dow Sends Letter to Governor Over CYFD Visitation Concerns Arise Amidst COVID-19

Truth or Consequences, NM– With social distancing instructions coming from the Governor’s office, the Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD) must provide supportive guidance to foster families during the COVID-19 crisis. Representative Rebecca Dow (R- T or C) sent a letter to the Governor today seeking immediate clarification regarding bio-family visitation. The Governor has directed CYFD employees to work from home and avoid public places, however foster families have been directed to initiate supervised visitations between foster children and bio-parents without CYFD employee participation.

The letter follows many calls and emails seeking clarification on how foster families are to proceed fulfilling supervision of bio-parents visits while also heeding the Governor’s statements on public safety. CYFD facilities are closed to the public and foster families are actively being advised to complete their visitation requirements in public areas or within their homes which places their entire households at risk.

“This is a crisis like no other, and while I appreciate the Governor’s response, I am concerned that without clear and consistent direction on visitation we are shifting immense responsibilities from our CYFD workers, onto our foster families,” said Rep. Rebecca Dow, “I strongly urge the Governor and her administration to seriously reconsider placing foster families at risk while the rest of the state practices social-distancing. I hope that we can find a solution that will benefit everyone involved and protect these families who voluntarily open their homes to our most vulnerable children.”