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Child Abuse and Neglect

Summary Indicator Report Data View Options

Child Abuse Victims by County, 2020

Why Is This Important?

In New Mexico, child maltreatment includes physical neglect, sexual abuse and physical abuse. Child maltreatment can range from relatively minor (bruises or cuts) to severe (broken bones, acute subdural hematoma, or even death). In addition to these physical effects, additional outcomes of abuse or neglect may include behavioral changes, developmental delays or life-long disabilities. Regardless of the physical effects, the emotional pain and suffering they cause a child should not be minimized. Additionally, adults who experienced abuse or neglect during childhood are more likely to suffer from physical ailments such as allergies, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, high blood pressure, and ulcers. The effects vary depending on the circumstances of the abuse or neglect and personal characteristics of the child. Also impactful is the child's environment, including the array of services available to the child and family to address the underlying issues which lead to child maltreatment. Consequences of abuse might be mild or severe, may disappear after a short period or last a lifetime. Child maltreatment can impact the child physically, psychologically, behaviorally, or in some combination of all three ways. Ultimately, due to related costs to public entities such as the health care, human services, and educational systems, abuse and neglect impact not just the child and family, but society as a whole.


The child abuse victims per 1,000 children under age 18. Data were compiled from the New Mexico Child Welfare data system for tracking reports and investigations of child abuse. Compiled data were obtained from CYFD Protective Services. It is possible that one investigated report may include multiple types of substantiated abuse of one or more children in a family. In addition, it is possible for an individual child to have more than one substantiated investigation of abuse or neglect for a single reporting period.

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program.
  • New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, PO Drawer 5160 Santa Fe, NM 87502-5160. Phone: (505)827-8400.

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Number of substantiated individual victims of child abuse or neglect.
Denominator:Number of children in the population under age 18 years.

Evidence-based Practices

New Mexico's Protective Services Division was selected by the Mountain and Plains Child Welfare Implementation Center (which is based at the University of Texas at Arlington) to receive Training and Technical Assistance to develop a new Practice model for the Division. The Practice Model project, called NM Pinon Project for CYFD, has been underway since November 2009 and it involves the entire Protective Services leadership team along with regional and field staff, foster parents, parents, children, youth, tribes, courts, providers and other stakeholders. The practice model is a framework of how Protective Services' employees, families, and stakeholders should unite in creating a physical and emotional environment that focuses on the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and their families. It contains definitions and explanations regarding how Protective Services as a whole will work internally and partner with families, service providers, tribes and other stakeholders in child welfare services. When Protective completes the Practice Model, we will: [[br]] * Define how Protective Services engages families, youth, and the community in developing and delivering services that meet the unique needs of those served by the agency. * Define standards of practice. * Define how outcomes will be measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. * Incorporate a clear, written explanation of how Protective Services will successfully function. * Promote practice that is evidence informed and guided by values and principles, therefore increasing the likelihood of positive outcomes for children, youth, families, and the community. * Link Protective Services' policy, practice, training, supervision and quality assurance with its mission, vision, agency values and strategic plan.

Other Objectives

New Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)

More Resources

See the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department for additional information about the child welfare system. Website:

Health Program Information

The Protective Services Division (PSD) is the state agency designated to administer Child Welfare Services in New Mexico. The PSD is mandated, in accordance with the New Mexico Children's Code, Section 32A-4 et. seq., NMSA 1997 ( to receive and investigate reports of children in need of protection from abuse and/or neglect by their parent, guardian or custodian, and to take action to protect those children whose safety cannot be assured in the home. PSD is committed to providing for the well-being of the children in its care and to securing permanency for those children as quickly and as safely possible. PSD provides child protective and other child welfare services throughout New Mexico. PSD's vision is: Children and youth in New Mexico live in a family environment free from abuse and neglect. PSD's mission is: We serve children, youth and families by: a) protecting children and youth from abuse and neglect; b) pursuing timely permanency; and c) promoting well-being. Administration of the child welfare program is centralized, with services provided through 29 county offices located within five designated regions. To make a report of abuse and/or neglect please call 1-855-333-SAFE. If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent please call 1-800-797-3260.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 04/15/2021, Published on 09/12/2022
Community Health Assessment Program, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 1190 S. Saint Francis Drive, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM, 87502. Contact Rena Manning at