CYFD Kicks Off Communities of Care Summit

Summit to Address Communities Role in Assisting Families with Behavioral Health Issues


ALBUQUERQUE – Today, the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department’s (CYFD) Office of Community Outreach and Behavioral Health kicked off its Communities of Care Summit at the Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town.  About 350 individuals from throughout New Mexico registered for the three-day summit.

The Communities of Care Summit is part of CYFD’s Community of Care initiative. The idea is to encourage local communities to take the lead in developing and improving services and supports for children and their families who are addressing behavioral health issues. 

“CYFD is very committed to supporting New Mexico families in addressing behavioral health issues in their communities,” said CYFD Cabinet Secretary Yolanda Deines. “We understand that it will take the help of many to address behavioral health issues, and this is why we are encouraging and supporting local communities in developing a Community of Care program for their area.”

The Community of Care initiative will be implemented in four phases:

  1. Provide local communities with a Community of Care Framework.
  2. Provide local communities with a self-assessment tool to determine their current stage of development of a Community of Care. (Each of the 12 communities participating in the Summit completed the self-assessment)
  3. Provision of this Summit to provide training, tools and experiences designed to support communities at various stages of development. Community teams of up to 20 people are being supported to attend at no cost.
  4. The CYFD Office of Community and Behavioral Health Programs, through funding from its Systems of Care grant, will provide no-cost follow-up training and technical assistance to communities who commit to further development of their Community of Care.

Building a Community of Care is hard work that requires the engagement of multiple stakeholders, a foundation of trusting and respectful relationships, high quality practices implemented with commitment, and ongoing data-driven and solution-focused evaluation and continuous quality improvement.

CYFD is committed to supporting a Community of Care that is primarily designed for children and youth and their families who are in an out-of-home placement or at high risk of out-of-home placement; involved in either Protective Services or Juvenile Justice Services or both; have received a behavioral health diagnosis that qualifies them for services as delivered by Core Service Agencies and those who meet the medical necessity criteria for residential treatment.

“Communities are vital components to the success of our efforts to keep children and youth in their home communities,” said Director of Community Outreach & Behavioral Health Daphne Rood-Hopkins.  “Community partners, especially local youth and family leaders, are the cornerstone to the individual plans of care and statewide policy changes for each community.”

The Communities of Care Summit is a three-day summit that will run until Aug. 1.  Topics to be covered include workshops aimed at engaging youth and families in services and systems change, strategies for developing and maintaining community teams, and how to plan, facilitate and manage information meetings.