CYFD official speaks out about agency

Posted at: 02/10/2014 11:10 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

As people in New Mexico call for change in the state agency charged with protecting our state's children, people in CYFD say they understand the reaction.

With the horrific child abuse cases in the news, they're reacting too.

"These cases just destroy us," CYFD Director of Protective Services Jared Rounsville said.

Rounsville says they learn from each one.

"Every controversial incident, every difficult investigation, every tragedy in the life of a child or a family informs child welfare," he said.

He says they're constantly working on getting staff trained and re-trained, and they're pushing legislation that would get the courts involved in making sure parents follow through with suggested classes or services.

But, Rounsville says their workers can only do so much. The rest is up to members of the community to watch over children.

"We're never going to be able to prevent every injury to a child or even a death to a child.  We're never going to be able to be in every home at all times preventing anything from ever going wrong.  That's not going to be able to happen.  But there are thousands and thousands and thousands of children who are being protected every single day by our staff," Rounsville said.

In the case of Baby Izabellah, when she was born she was found to have traces of marijuana in her system.

While Rounsville couldn't speak specifically about that case, he did tell KOB Eyewitness News 4 that if a child is healthy and not facing developmental challenges because of the drug they typically don't take custody of the child.