NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Rain Chapman was in and out of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) for most of her life. The now 19-year-old recalls her time in CYFD as a nightmare.
“I was adopted at the age of five years old, and I was put back in at the age of 10.”
For months, Chapman said she slept on the CYFD office building’s floor in Albuquerque between desks and chairs, with as many as 10 other kids.
“My back hurts, my body was aching, and they would give us mats to sleep on, which let’s be honest like that wasn’t going to do anything.”
“They would treat us like inmates in a prison.”
Chapman said she’s not surprised by the latest report.
According to the Albuquerque Police Department, officers were dispatched to the CYFD building in Albuquerque back in December for a sexual abuse call, in a story first published by Searchlight New Mexico. The police report said a staff member found a 10-year-old boy and a 14-year-old foster child in the same bathroom stall together, both with their pants down. The younger boy told investigators he was sexually penetrated with a gun.
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Although Chapman has aged out of the system, she’s horrified at what’s still happening inside the walls of the very place that’s supposed to be keeping kids safe.
“Have you ever got an alcohol wipe and put it next to a scar? That’s how I felt when I heard that news.”
CYFD’s Cabinet Secretary Barbara J. Vigil released this statement:
We can confirm there was an incident that is pending internal and external investigation to ensure that proper placement protocols were followed. CYFD staff are clear that children are not to be placed in offices unless every other option is exhausted, and any improper action will yield consequences.
In situations like the one you describe, law enforcement are immediately contacted and CYFD works closely with them to ensure accountability.