New Mexico gains foster parents but demand continues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The number of certified foster families in New Mexico has grown by more than 20 percent over the last two years, but state officials say there’s still more that needs to be done to meet demand.

Children, Youth and Families Secretary Monique Jacobson says New Mexico has nearly 1,300 foster families. That includes full-time foster parents and those available for emergency situations.

May marks Foster Parent Appreciation Month throughout the country, and child welfare officials are pushing in New Mexico to raise awareness of the continued need.

State data shows the number of children taken into custody has climbed over the last few years to more than 2,600.

Jacobson says the focus has been on retaining current foster parents by boosting support services and on helping those who are interested in navigating the rigorous certification process.