Executive Order Transforming CYFD

What does this executive order do?

The order requires immediate changes in how the department operates and sets out a long-term vision for how the department will strengthen its practices. Executive Order 2023-020 does the following:

Increased Transparency

Elevates the divisions of the agency that need and deserve increased attention and increased transparency: Protective Services, Juvenile Justice and Emergency Health and Behavioral Services.

Empowers Staff

Empowers staff to support every child who needs an emergency placement. The new Emergency Health group will focus exclusively on making sure that every child has a safe, stable place to stay, whether that’s an emergency overnight stay at an appropriate treatment center or a placement with a foster family.

Fosters Collaboration

Brings in voices from every area of the child welfare community – service providers, families who have interacted with CYFD, attorneys, behavioral health providers. This group will provide another layer of accountability, but it will also be a vital part of how New Mexico rebuilds and reinvigorates the department.

Enhanced Constituent Service

Builds a system that hears the concerns of its constituents and skillfully responds. New Mexico will establish a grievance system that allows families to engage in meaningful dialogue with the agency.

Annual Audit

Requires the agency to undergo an annual independent audit.

Office of Innovation

Creates an Office of Innovation that identifies and brings to New Mexico the best practices from around the country that improve child welfare outcomes.  

Meet the CYFD Policy Advisory Council

As part of the Executive Order, the CYFD Policy Advisory Council was established to gather professionals from the child-welfare community including service providers, families who have interacted with CYFD, attorneys, and behavioral health providers. Each council member offers a knowledgeable and diverse perspective.

Brennan Bowman

Brennan Bowman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Urban School Counseling from Norfolk State University. She has over 17 years of experience working with children and families in many capacities. Currently, Ms. Bowman is a middle school counselor with Albuquerque Public Schools and CEO of “With a Village,” an academic success coaching service, where she works with students and their families.

Rick Quevedo

Rick Quevedo is the CEO and founder of Desert View Family Counseling Services in San Juan and McKinley Counties, which specializes in infant mental health, supervised visitation, in-home services & reunification, wrapround and outpatient mental health for adolescents and families who have experienced significant trauma. Rick serves on serval Task Forces including the Early Childhood Coalition and is a board member for the San Juan Regional Medical Center.

Barbara Yehl

Barbara Yehl is the Director of Lighthouse Foster & Adoption. She created two family-focused programs in Roswell: The Grace Refresh Group, which supports moms of young children and the Lighthouse program, which supports adoption and foster parenting.


Kenneth Stowe

 Kenneth Stowe is the Division Director of Curriculum & Instruction at the New Mexico Public Education Department and a Board member of the CASA Partners 4NMKIDS. As a former foster youth who experienced multiple bouts of homelessness, he understands first-hand how imperative it is to build systems and support state agencies for children and youth.