Happy new year from all of us at All Faiths! We’re starting 2019 with interesting and exciting developments in both our larger political environment and closer to home.
With the new Governor have come many changes to the state government, a new focus and a vision that will place the issue of child welfare betterment on the front line.
It’s great news that, through a legislation called Families First Act, the country is trying to catch up to what All Faiths started many years ago. Recognizing that we were stuck in a reactionary mode to the issues of child abuse and neglect in our communities – and that the structure of insurance and programs only allow us to react to bad things that happened, rather than help prevent them – in 2014 we applied for and received a small grant that enabled us to work with families, rather than just the individual child.
It’s not rocket science to recognize that we cannot heal a child from trauma and then send them back to the same dysfunctional environment. If we want to affect real change, we have to ensure that families are strengthened and that they are connected to resources.
This is how our Family Wellness program was born – a group of thoughtful and invested people carved out a way to make an extended difference for the kids served at our agency.
The Families First Act is going to institutionalize this by challenging states to come up with their own systems in order to help and keep families together. This will be a fundamental shift in our approach to the child welfare and trauma-care programs and one that is surely going to be transformational for our communities.
And there is not another place that needs it more than New Mexico. Ranked 50th in child welfare, and just last week, deemed to be “the worst place to raise a child”, we know how much ground there is to cover.
We at All Faiths are looking forward to expanding our program to include more children and families than the 3800 we served just last year – it’s a new chapter for all of us and I hope to see all of you joining this shift in our services, standing up for the future of New Mexico and strengthening the non-profits that do the ground work for the benefit of all.