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I am an attorney who recently has had the opportunity to represent a number of persons who were investigated by employees of Child Protective Services Division of the Children Youth and Families Department (CYFD) on allegations by persons unknown of child abuse.
Every report was unsubstantiated and none of them should have been investigated. I would like to offer some observations to your readers who may be thinking about reporting someone, on the child abuse hotline or otherwise, to CYFD, and some suggestions to CYFD for improving their system.
Here’s some law for you: for persons who report suspicions of abuse to CYFD or the Police the statutes provide that CYFD must not release their identity. It also provides for immunity from liability, civil or criminal, , absent a showing that the reporter acted in “bad faith or with malicious purpose.”
In a story on the new hotline recently instituted by CYFD, the Albuquerque Journal on April 8 quoted the Secretary of CYFD saying that the previous hotline received about 75,000 calls a year, of which only 4,000 were substantiated.
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