ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – CYFD has come under fire for dropping the ball in Omaree Varela’s case.
The 9-year-old boy was allegedly kicked to death by his mother in December. CYFD had reports on Omaree’s family, but the boy was not taken away from his home.
On Friday, for the first time, the CYFD secretary finally spoke on camera about the case and defended her department.
“I think that at anytime you’re involved with a family and changes in circumstances throughout many years, there’s likely to be inconsistencies in the way that individuals deal with circumstances,” said Yolanda Deines.
Deines said there was no indication that Omaree needed to be removed from his home when CYFD workers checked on the boy.
She says CYFD is restricted by state laws and tries to keep families together.
Civil rights groups have called on Deines to step down, but she has no plans to.
“The bottom line is, until the governor says I’m not doing the job she wants me to, I’m here and I will fight the good fight and keep working to keep kids safe.”
Deines says CYFD is reviewing Omaree’s case.
She also says the agency is always updating policies to improve how it handles child abuse cases.