This Week at CYFD
CYFD's John Paul Taylor Center (JPTC) participated in the annual Dia de los Muertos celebration in Mesilla Valley, N.M. Behavioral health workers, case managers and staff from all facility dormitories participated in discussions and groups with CYFD clients on child abuse and domestic violence during the month of October. This cumulated in the dorms making an alter honoring victims of child abuse in New Mexico.
All clients participated in the designs, messages and implementation of the alter. Four clients, one from each dorm, was designated to assist in transporting and setting up the alter at the plaza.
Isabelle Dominquez was responsible for getting the space donated by Presiliana, President of the Calaveras Coalition, as well as providing treats from the Chocolate Lady and the rosaries that the priest of the Basilica blessed for the youth.
Mr. Taylor was unable to attend or meet with our youth however he did speak with Ms. Dominquez on Sunday as they were removing the alter. Mr. Taylor had favorable comments about the message as well as the tastefulness of the alter bearing his name. Ms. Dominquez and other staff reported hearing favorable and endearing comments. The youth were able to walk around the plaza and appreciate the personal and cherished memories of loved ones.
In other news items of interest regarding CYFD this week:
- On November 3, Secretary Dorian Dodson signed the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Mountains and Plains Child Welfare Implementation Center. The MOA signifies CYFD’s acceptance of the federal Implementation Center grant of award issued through the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Children’s Bureau. The grant provides technical assistance and support to the Protective Services Division over the next three years to develop a practice model to improve services and outcomes to children and families served by the child welfare system. Through the grant, the implementation center will assist the state in bringing together agency staff, state stakeholders with national experts to refine practice and implement systemic reforms.
- CYFD’s Early Childhood Services Division issued one RFP and one RFA using ARRA child care quality improvement funds. The RFA was issued for $300,000 to solicit applications for quality improvements to child care programs with a limit of $2,500 per site. A total of 120 applications (five programs submitted applications for multiple sites) were received, and 108 were deemed eligible for funding. The award letters have been sent to the selected providers. An RFP was also issued for $300,000, and solicited programs that could provide innovative services for infants and toddlers. OCD received 23 proposal and following a thorough evaluation process, three were recommended for funding.
- As part of the federal Child and Family Services Review, state child welfare systems are required to make extensive efforts to provide for the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in foster care. One area that sometimes receives less attention than others, but that is still very important to the well-being of children in foster care, is oral health. Accordingly, the UNM Department of Pediatrics held an oral health collection drive during the month of October. They called it Trick or Treat for Healthy Teeth. Their staff donated toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and other oral health items which were in turn given to CYFD. CYFD’s Protective Services workers will be delivering oral health items during their November home visits.