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Category: NM Legislative Session 2022 NM Legislative Session 2022
Published: 11 February 2022 11 February 2022

Act would provide legal representation to families in child welfare cases

Santa Fe, NM-Tonight, the House voted to pass the “Family Representation and Advocacy Act” to help New Mexico families navigate foster care and the child welfare system. 

This legislation, which is a substitute for HB 46, creates the Office of Family Representation and Advocacy (OFRA), an independent office for the representation of children and families in abuse and neglect matters. OFRA will appoint and retain attorneys and other staff to provide legal representation for parents and children in child welfare cases.

The bill was sponsored by Representative Gail Chasey (D-Albuquerque) and Senator Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque)

“Too many families navigating the child welfare system do not have knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers. The Office of Family Representation will change that,” said Rep. Chasey. “Now, skilled attorneys will help children and families when they need it most, ensuring better outcomes for all.”

The bill now heads to the Senate.