Claims a foster parent has been sexually abusing girls in his care for almost 20 years are finally coming to light.
The girls kept coming forward dating back to 2000; even the man’s wife reported it.
A lot of people heard the allegations, including CYFD, police, the District Attorney’s office and therapists.
CYFD Secretary Monique Jacobson says an Albuquerque couple had been treatment foster parents since 1997, taking in higher needs children with behavioral problems.
“I thought, 20 years, oh my gosh…this has been happening for 20 years,” Jacobson said.
A nonprofit agency licensed through CYFD called Familyworks would place children in the couple’s home. KRQE News 13 is not naming the man because he hasn’t been charged. However, a search warrant for the business last month uncovers disturbing allegations from eight girls, as well as allegations that workers at Familyworks often blew off what the children told them.
In 2000, the District Attorney decided not to prosecute after a 16-year-old told deputies her foster father had raped her. In 2012, a 15-year-old made similar claims.
CYFD told Albuquerque Police, but documents state it appears APD never investigated.
There’s another claim by a 10-year-old in 2015. Familyworks told CYFD, “we only reported it because we had to, not because we were concerned.”
In 2017, a 6-year-old says he touched her private parts. It was the man’s own wife who called Familyworks to report it. Later that year, the couple told Familyworks the little girl’s private parts were injured.
No one called CYFD or the police about those two cases.
In between, CYFD was called one time to check on the girl after another foster child told an adult that their foster dad was looking at the 6-year-old inappropriately.
The girl told CYFD she didn’t want to talk about it, and was returned to the foster home.
CYFD Secretary Monique Jacobson says there’s more to these cases, but she can’t talk about them. She did have experts review how CYFD handled them.
“It’s one of those situations where we go back and we look and we say, ‘we did this…we did what we’re expected to do and we still didn’t get to the bottom of what’s happening,'” Jacobson said.
Finally in April, an APS school counselor contacted CYFD about a 10-year-old claiming her foster parent was touching her in a sexual manner.
A CYFD investigator started digging into his past, uncovering the history of allegations.
“I truly believe had it not been for these investigations, children could have been in that house for another 20 years,” Jacobson said.
When CYFD workers notified Familyworks about the investigation into the foster parent, they say Familyworks still wanted to put girls in the home, saying the foster couple needed the money and they get paid for taking in children.
CYFD audited Familyworks and found the director wasn’t properly licensed. CYFD revoked their license in July.
The business is is still open while cases are being transferred. KRQE News 13 tried getting a comment but no one wanted to talk.
Jacobson says CYFD workers, treatment coordinators, went to the man’s home each week.
“To be so bold to do that, when you are hurting these children…mind boggling. We’ve talked about it as our super predators,” Jacobson said.
So, why didn’t police investigated some of these cases? APD says they can’t comment as they investigate the man involved.
Despite no charges yet, CYFD says he will never be able to foster again in New Mexico.