Child Welfare Professionals
The Children's Court mediation program is a resource for CYFD staff, families, and the Courts. By providing a non-adversarial approach, the mediation program assists child welfare professionals in their work with families facing long-term issues such as substance abuse, domestic violence, poverty, and mental illness, and work together to reach permanency solutions for children. A trained professional mediator meets with the parents, attorneys, CYFD case workers and other interested parties and assists in achieving understanding and agreements regarding placement, visitation, treatment and permanency for children. Any party involved with abuse and neglect cases may request mediation.
Meetings and Training
The Children's Court Mediation Program offers training (as funding allows) for the professionals who participate in child abuse and neglect mediation, including CYFD staff, Respondent Attorneys, GALs, Youth Attorneys, CASA and others. Please check for meetings and scheduled training in your area.
How to Make a Referral to Mediation
All child abuse and neglect cases, from investigations (i.e., pre-legal, prior to a legal filing) to reunification (i.e., child is returned home) or the termination of parental rights, including open adoption may be referred to mediation.
Parents and their attorneys, CYFD, the GAL, Youth Attorney, CASA or the Court may request mediation. After a legal filing, any interested party, as defined by the New Mexico Abuse and Neglect Act (34A-4-1, NMSA), may request the court refer them to mediation.
All referrals (legal and pre-legal) for mediation are made directly to the regional coordinators by submitting a Case Referral Intake.
Legal cases require a court order, filed by the Children's Court Attorney (CCA). Endorsed copies must be mailed to the parties entitled to notice and the regional local coordinator. The orders include provisions requiring that all parties attend the mediation, a confidentiality statement, and the location, date and time of the mediation, if known. The regional coordinator can assist with ensuring an order for mediation is filed with the court.
Children's Court Mediation Program Contacts
Statewide ADR Coordinator
For general information about Children's Court Mediation
Regional Program Coordinators
Northern Region: 2nd, 4th, 8th, 10th, 11th, & 13th Judicial Districts (Counties of Bernalillo,Valencia, Cibola, Sandoval, McKinley, San Juan, Taos, Colfax, Union, Mora, San Miguel, Guadalupe, Harding, Quay and De Baca)
Southern Region: 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th & 12th Judicial Districts (Counties of Dona Ana, Luna, Hidalgo, Grant, Sierra, Catron, Socorro, Torrance, Lincoln, Otero, Chaves, Eddy, Lea, Curry and Roosevelt)
Nancy Garcia Tafoya
1st Judicial District Court
Professional Frequently Asked Questions