Bill to Fully Staff CYFD Gains Bipartisan Support

Sen. Michael Padilla

N.M. Senate News:

Santa Fe, NM — Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Bernalillo, has introduced bipartisan legislation to fully staff the Children, Youth and Families’ (CYFD) Protective Services Division. The Social Worker Loan for Service Act will provide a pipeline of certified social workers to meet the caseloads for children in protective services.

“This legislation will dramatically reduce caseloads for social workers at CYFD,” Padilla said.

The plan calls for CYFD to select individuals to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work programs at New Mexico higher education institutions. The legislation calls for the state to pay tuition for the last two years of a bachelor’s degree in social work in exchange for 24 months of work for CYFD Protective Services.

The bill will help individuals seeking a master’s degree in social work to have their last year’s tuition paid for by the state in exchange for 12 months of working for CYFD Protective Services.

“This initiative will encourage individuals wishing to enter this line of work to remain in their positions long enough to determine if it is a good fit for them,” Padilla said.

Padilla was able to obtain 20 Senate co-sponsors – essentially half of the Senate, to support the legislation, with support coming from both sides of the aisle.

In addition, Sen. Padilla’s Senate Joint Memorial 3 (SJM3) , which requires CYFD to report on foster care in the state to the legislature, received unanimous approval at Monday’s Senate Rules Committee.