Rotarian Tom Tierney introduces his sister CYFD Investigator Patricia Tierney during Tuesday’s Rotary meeting. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos members were educated Tuesday about the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD).
CYFD Investigation Senior Worker for Rio Arriba and Los Alamos County Patricia Tierney discussed her job as well as how the CYFD operates.
She encouraged the audience to report abuse if they suspect it occurs. After a call is made, Tierney said, the case is assigned a priority level, which is based on the severity of the situation, the child’s age and the circumstances of the report. The CYFD also cross reports to law enforcement and the referral is assigned to an investigator. The referral is initiated based on the priority level and a face-to-face interview is held with the alleged victims.
The investigation process includes assessing the alleged victims’ safety, conducting interviews with several individuals such as teachers, counselors, friends and other children at the child’s home. Additionally, Tierney said family-centered meetings and case-decision meetings are held, the allegations are substantiated or unsubstantiated and an outcome is determined. If necessary, the family is referred to community series, referred to home services or the child is removed from the home.