New Mexico Agrees to Revamp Its ‘Broken’ Foster Care System

by Newsfeed

New Mexico’s efforts reflect a growing awareness nationwide about the need to address the harmful effects of childhood traumas such as poverty, abuse and parental addiction. Research has shown that such traumas can disrupt healthy brain development and can lead to substance abuse, incarceration and health problems later in life. In response, legislators and schools have devoted increasing amounts of funding and resources to “social and emotional” learning that can help children cope with trauma and develop healthy response habits before they reach adulthood.

The need is particularly dire in New Mexico, a largely rural state with a majority-minority population, including 23 tribal nations. The state has the nation’s second-highest rate of childhood poverty, and is ranked last for overall child well-being,…

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