Monday, August 14, 2017

Henry Sage, Courthouse Dog, Asks For Your Help

Dear Friend;

Woof! (Hi!)

I am Henry Sage, the new kid on the CASA block.

CASA Dogs Emma, Mousse, Zia, Ben and Hamlet are old pros at this. They are teaching me the best behavior.

This is an exciting place to work.  I get to be with kids all day and try to make them feel better. 

Yesterday I sat on a couch for a long time with a little girl who was so sad because she had been hurt.  She kept petting my soft ears and she smiled after a while.  Thank you for helping CASA to have Courthouse Dogs.  We have a lot of work to do and need all the help we can get to keep this great program going. You can donate here.

Henry Sage

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


April 26th 2017

Chaves County Courthouse Lawn

Hosted By: Children, Youth & Families Department 
& Chaves County CASA

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month!


FREE Entertainment, Free Refreshments, 
Child Abuse Prevention Walk, Mayoral Proclamation 
and NM Youth Challenge Presentation of the Colors.

Connect with community agencies and learn more about available services for families!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Neurobiology of Trauma

In this video Dr. David Lisak explains the effect of trauma 
on the brain and how it affects behaviors.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


So, you’ve heard it before, on the news, Facebook, or conversations with friends.

It seems bad, or, at least, it should seem bad. The numbers are enormous; it’s talked about with such urgency and you can’t deny it’s a problem. And yet… it’s just not convincing.

You glance at the image again and the phrases run through your mind.

“There’s such a need for foster parents.”

“Our county is in a crisis.”

“Children are being placed 4 hours away because there aren’t enough foster homes to take them.”

So why doesn’t it feel real? Urgent? As desperate as they make it out to be?

Read more HERE.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Surviving Foster Care: 2 Brothers, 2 Different Paths

For the brothers Terrick and Joseph Bakhit, childhood in Southern California was a precarious and often brutal experience: a mother addicted to crack and often in jail, a grandmother who beat them. In 2007, when Terrick was 12 and Joseph was 11, they ran away to an older sister’s home but eventually landed in foster care, where a good outcome was anything but certain.

Although child-care officials had promised to keep them together, they were separated and ended up in a series of foster families or group homes. At 17, Terrick, demoralized and unruly, “made the stupid decision of stealing a group home car,” was arrested and sentenced to juvenile detention for 11 months. Adrift upon release and without financial or personal support, he ended up homeless and addicted to crystal meth.

Read More HERE.


Dear Child Advocate,

I remember him as if we met yesterday. Johnny, not even six months old, sat on my lap and giggled as I finished getting together my court documents. I was a young attorney for Florida’s Department of Children and Families, learning how to navigate the complexities of child welfare. Johnny had bruises on his body, his runny nose had crusted over, and he was filthy. I wanted to drop everything and scrub away his despair.

Read More HERE.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Wings For Life - Career Success Skills

Wings for L.I.F.E.
(Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education)

Career Success Skills
Identifying top five skills Employers are looking for; Identifying top five benefits Employees are looking for; Where to look for career & job related information; What makes a successful Cover Letter & Resume; How to prepare to win the Dream Job

Presented by
Jim Engelhard- Activity Director, Title V Grant Programs, ENMU-Roswell

505 N. Pennsylvania Avenue
Andy’s Hall
SUNDAY, March 19th,  2017
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (Doors open at 5:45)

ENMUR Students will be hosting a Field Day
 (Games & Fun Activities for Children & Teens)
while the program is being held.
For Questions call:  Shelly Currier @ 317-2042

Are Certain Disabilities Greater Risk Factors for Sexual Abuse?

This is heartbreaking, but true.
Please help us to keep these precious children safe.

According to a 2012 study by the Center on Victimization and Safety of the Vera Institute of Justice and the Ms. Foundation for Women, “children with disabilities are 2.9 times more likely than children without disabilities to be sexually abused. Children with intellectual and mental health disabilities appear to be the most at risk, with 4.6 times the risk of sexual abuse as their peers without disabilities.” Sexual Abuse of Children With Disabilities: A National Snapshot

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Improving the Response to Victims of Child Pornography

The National Center for Victims of Crime and our partners, the National Children’s Alliance and the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center, are pleased to release the Final Report from our examination of the response to victims of child pornography.

Read more HERE.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

It's Okay To Say That Foster Parenting Is Hard

It’s okay to say it’s hard.

It’s okay to say that sometimes you just feel like no one understands what you are going through.

Guess what. It’s even okay to say that sometimes, you simply want to stop, that you can’t do it any more, that you are just don’t want to be hurt again.

Yes, foster parenting can be difficult.

Read more HERE

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pediatricians warn about dangers of kids using marijuana

By Kelly Wallace, CNN
This is an update to a story first published in May 2015.
(CNN)My kids are in elementary school, a little young for the "weed talk," but I wonder whether the fact that recreational pot use is now legal in a number of states will complicate things once we start having those conversations.
Sue Scheff, a parent advocate who works with children in at-risk communities, says she's heard from plenty of kids who say, "Well, it's legal, so it must be OK."
"We already have the messaging problem," said Scheff, author of "Wit's End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen."

Read more HERE.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Rural School Health Education Institute

It is time to register for the 2017 Rural School Health Education Institute in Roswell on March 21st and 22nd.

Please join us for this wonderful training opportunity designed specifically for you.  After compiling your survey results, we have sessions addressing Youth at Risk, Wellness Policy, Safe Schools and much more.

Registering early ensures coverage of travel expenses.  Deadline to register is March 3rd

Please click the link below to register.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you in Roswell!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Role of Data to Support College and Career Readiness and Success for Students in Foster Care

March 1, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. -12:15 p.m. 

This webinar aims to provide concrete strategies to leverage the data collection and reporting requirements related to students in foster care to achieve college and career readiness and success.

Register HERE

Racial Disproportionality and Disparity in Child Welfare

Issue brief that delves into the prevalence of racial and ethnic disproportionality and disparity in child welfare, reviews the latest literature on the topic, and highlights current State and local initiatives to address disproportionality.

Read more HERE

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Your hotel room photos could help catch sex traffickers

TraffickCam uses image analysis tools to identify hotel rooms used for suspected sex trafficking.

(CNN)A young girl poses provocatively in a dark hotel room. For a set fee, any willing customer can pay to have sex with her.
For investigators attempting to track down sex traffickers and their victims, these online advertisements can contain critical clues.
Read more HERE

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Action Alert! Contact your legislator today to support HB 301 & SB 213

TO SUPPORT HOUSE BILL 301 (sponsored by Doreen Y. Gallegos & 
Gail Chasey) 
AND SENATE BILL 213 (sponsored by Gay G. Kernan)

Did you know that NMCAN is at the legislative session this year? In partnership with young people and FosterEd New Mexico, they are working to ensure students in foster care get credit for the work they do in school.

You can help make this happen by contacting your legislators to let them know you support Senate Bill 213, which will be discussed during the Senate Education Committee meeting on Wednesday, February 8th at 8:30am.

Students in foster care are often forced to change schools when they move foster homes or come into care. When students move schools, they typically lose credit for work they did in previous school districts, and each district has unique graduation requirements. As a result, students are not able to graduate on time, and many of them give up and leave school.

SB 213 and HB 301 will address this concern by:
  • Allowing high school students who are system-involved and who have moved schools the choice of graduating in four years if they have met state-graduation requirements.
  • Ensuring that students in foster care, and other students who move frequently, have the same opportunities as other students.
  • Ensuring student records are quickly transferred between districts.
      Learn more and read our FAQs about HB 301 and SB 213 here.


By Wednesday morning:
  1. Call the NM Senate at 505-986-4714 and ask to speak to your Senator's office. Learn who is your legislator here.
  2. Tell them: Supporting young people in foster care is important to me. SB 301 is critical to ensuring students in care who move frequently have the same opportunities as other students. They deserve to receive credit for the work they do in school. Please support SB 301.
  3. Also call the Senate Education Committee members to reiterate your support of SB 301. Scroll all the way down to see the list of the committee members here.
  4. Email Executive Director Ezra Spitzer at so he knows you contacted your legislators and so he can keep track of contacts from the NMCAN community.

Providing Shelter, Food, and Services to the Homeless in Roswell

Wings for L.I.F.E.
(Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education)

Providing Shelter, Food, and Services
to the Homeless in Roswell

Presented By:
Jeneva Martinez and Members of Homeless Coalition

505 N. Pennsylvania Avenue
Andy’s Hall
SUNDAY, February 12th, 2017
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Doors Open 5:45 PM
(Childcare available)

For Questions call:  Shelly Currier @ 317-2042

Monday, February 6, 2017

Thinking outside the box on prison sentences

By Diane Dimond / Crime and Justice / ABQ Journal

Change is often a good thing. Thinking outside the box can bring about dynamic and fresh solutions to long-standing problems. That’s why I’m hoping the new Trump Administration – on record as wanting to upend the status quo in Washington – will employ this kind of thinking when the subject of prison sentencing reform comes up.

For too long, politicians have told us that a lengthy prison sentence equals increased public safety and deterrence, that if you give a convict the longest possible prison term, it will keep them from future criminal activity, as well as scare away others from committing a similar crime.

Read more HERE

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Repeat maltreatment rates rise in NM

By ABQJournal News Staff

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — What happens to New Mexico children who aren’t taken into state custody after child protective services confirms abuse or neglect by their parents?

Increasingly, they are subjected to repeat maltreatment in as little as six months.

It takes a lot to put a kid in CYFD custody, say former employees. Initially, CYFD tries to find ways to safely keep the children in the home and preserve the family.

“Sometimes that means by the time that child actually gets picked up (by the state), additional trauma has happened to them,” said one former placement worker.

Read more HERE.

CYFD Launches Online Tool to Help Families Determine their Eligibility for Services

SANTA FE -- The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) has launched an online family services tool to help families determine their eligibility for services they may need, such as child care assistance and PreK. The tool, called “Am I Eligible?,” is accessible through the website and allows families to see what services they’re eligible for.

"Our online family services tool is a great example of how government agencies and non-profits can work together to help our families find the services they need," said Governor Susana Martinez. "By creating this tool, we’re giving families the opportunity to learn more about our programs and how they can sign up for them -- all at the click of a button.”

Read more HERE

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Focus on Child Well-Being in New Mexico

Childhood Adversity: The Impact of Maltreatment -
Definitions, Prevention and Intervention Strategies

Tuesday February 7, 2017, 6-8 pm
Domenici Center Auditorium
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
Free and open to the public

Introduction by Paul Roth, MD, Chancellor of UNM Health Sciences Center

50-year Legacy in the Field of Child Abuse and Neglect
Richard Krugman, MD, Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado Medical School

Social Work Interventions for Children, Youth and Families
Ferol Mennen, PhD, LCSW, Associate Professor, Department of Children, Youth and Families, University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Childhood Adversity in New Mexico
Andrew Hsi, MD, Professor, University of New Mexico School of Medicine,
Center Director of the Institute of Resilience, Health and Justice

The Voices of Children in New Mexico
James C. Jimenez, Executive Director of NM Voices for Children; KidsCount in New Mexico

Childhood adversity impacts the human lifespan. This Symposium will focus on the development of collaborations in research, service, prevention and healing.

Additional events:
-- Poster sessions from UNM faculty, students 
and Community partners from 3-5 pm

-- Appetizers from 5-6 pm

Start a Support Group for Victims of Stalking

Start a Support Group for Victims of Stalking

View the GUIDE on "How to Start and Facilitate a Support Group for Victims of Stalking" and see if this is a possibility for your organization. Support groups can provide a sense of support and validation for victims, an essential part of their ability to recover.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lessons from the Hundred Acre Wood

By Steven Olender

Today, we celebrate the birthday of A.A. Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh, whose stories have delighted millions of children and adults alike for the past 9 decades. Milne's stories doubtless have much to teach children, about loyalty, kindness, curiosity, and friendship. Looking back on Winnie the Pooh, I was surprised to realize how much wisdom there is for adults, particularly CASA volunteers, in the pages of his stories.

Full article from CASA of Travis County HERE.

Wings for L.I.F.E. - The Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

Wings for L.I.F.E.
(Life-skills Imparted to Families through Education)

The Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

Presented By:
Diane Taylor, DUI Prevention Specialist

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

505 N. Pennsylvania Avenue

Andy’s Hall

Doors open at 5:45

(Sitter available)
Dinner follows Program
For Questions call: Shelly Currier @ 317-2042

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Moving story from a young man who has spent his life in foster care.

After 20 Years, Young Man Leaves Foster Care On His Own Terms

When Noel Anaya was just a year old, he and his five brothers and sisters were placed in the California foster care system. He has spent nearly all of his life in that system and has just turned 21. In California, that's the age when people in foster care "age out" of the system and lose the benefits the system provides. That process becomes official at a final court hearing. Anaya, along with Youth Radio, got rare permission to record the proceeding, where he read a letter he wrote about his experience in the foster care system.

Read Full Story HERE

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Years Resolution: Become a CASA Volunteer and Change a Life

New Year’s resolutions typically focus on self-improvement: lose weight, stop smoking, exercise more often. This year, why not resolve to do something even more lasting: improve the life of a child who’s suffered abuse and neglect?
As a court-appointed special advocate, volunteers receive in-depth training to advocate in court and in the community for the needs and rights of children in foster care. CASA volunteers come from all walks of life and professions and have one thing in common: they care about the children.
To learn more about how you can make a difference in the life of an abused or neglected child here in our community, contact us by calling 575-625-0112 or go to