Posted at: 04/08/2014 6:12 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Case workers say the number of CYFD calls from Valencia County can often get overwhelming.
That’s why the state is opening a new office working to battle child abuse.
The first of its kind program is designed to be a place where numerous non-profits and law enforcement can come together to support children who have been victims of abuse.
Krisztina Ford, CEO of All Faiths says there will be an interview room for children just like the one in Albuquerque.
Ford says over 1,000 children all over New Mexico are interviewed every year.
She says up to 15 percent of them come from Valencia County.
"We already see a good number of interviews every year that come from that area of the state," she said.
CYFD says second to Bernalillo County, Valencia County has the most children in CYFD custody and per capita, Valencia County has the highest referrals or calls to CYFD.
Organizations like All Faiths will work together with CYFD, police, and The District Attorney All in one building for better communication.
Also, a child will only have to revisit their traumatic past in one interview.
“They get interviewed by a trained staff that gets recorded and they don't get traumatized by having to repeat their stories,” Ford said.
These are services Stacy Johnson, Valencia County resident, says she wished she had for her family a long time ago.
“The more they (families) understand that it’s ok, to be where you are because things just get better,” she said, “Then the more apt they are to accept the services.”
CYFD plans to open these doors at the end of the summer.
The new Child Advocate Center will be located just down the street off of the District Courthouse in Los Lunas.