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Information about the Office of Family Representation and Advocacy and the Oversight Commission’s meetings can be located at the OFRA webpage
On March 8, 2022 HB46 was signed by the Governor: creating the Office of Family Representation and Advocacy Act
Family Representation Commission
The Family Representation Commission was established by the Order of the New Mexico Supreme Court on October 23, 2020. The Commission is dedicated to improving the quality of legal representation to children and parents in abuse and neglect cases by advancing the recommendations of the Family Representation Task Force.
This website is intended to provide all currently available information relating to the creation of the proposed Office of Family Representation and Advocacy. This website will be updated as new information becomes available.
There have been numerous efforts over the years to improve the quality of legal representation for children and parents, custodians and guardians in abuse and neglect cases. The most recent effort to address this issue began with an in-depth assessment conducted by the NM Supreme Court Children’s Court Improvement Commission. The CCIC Representation Report found a number of issues including overall poor quality of representation, lack of caseload management, inadequate compensation, and lack of monitoring and oversight resulting in delays in permanency and hindrances to other positive outcomes for families.
In response, lawmakers passed a Senate Joint Memorial in 2019 (SJM10) creating the Family Representation Task Force tasked with recommending new structural and practice models for providing high quality legal representation. The Task Force completed its work with a Report to the Legislature in July 2020. The major recommendation called for the creation of the Office of Family Representation and Advocacy, an autonomous entity that would allow for independent decision-making and oversight. Recognizing the importance of this work, the Supreme Court created the Family Representation Commission.
The Family Representation Commission meets on the second Friday of each month and is currently utilizing a virtual platform.
Resources and Reference Material
Representation Models, Quality Representation and Direct Representation
NACC updated 2021 State Models of Children’s Legal Representation
ABA 2021 Model Act Governing the Representation of Children in Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Proceedings – August 2011
ABA Standards of Practice for Attorneys Representing Parents in Abuse and Neglect Cases
American Bar Association: The Case for a Centralized Office for Legal Representation in Child Welfare Cases by Mimi Laver and Cathy Krebs
Family Justice Initiative “Advocacy” Attribute 1-6