Governor appoints Teresa Casados to lead Children, Youth, and Families Department


Contact: Jessica Preston
Acting Public Information Officer
New Mexico Children Youth & Families Department

Governor appoints Teresa Casados to lead Children, Youth, and Families Department

SANTA FE – Today, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham appointed Teresa Casados to permanently lead the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD). Casados served as interim secretary since April of this year.

“Teresa Casados has left an indelible mark at CYFD over just a few months, delving into evaluating processes and structures to make sure they all squarely support a singular goal: to serve the state’s most vulnerable children,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “She has already delivered results, and I have no doubt the momentum will continue from here.”

“I am honored to get to serve in this position permanently. Over the past six months here, I have seen the dedication of the employees in the Department who do some of the most challenging work in the state with determination, compassion, and teamwork,” said Secretary Casados. “We are making great strides in restructuring the organization, hiring, and ensuring transparency, and there is much more work to do for the children and families in our care. I am grateful to the Governor for this opportunity to serve the young people of our state.”

In the last six months, CYFD:

  • Ended the practice of using Social Security Benefits belonging to children.
  • Restructured the agency to prioritize three pillars: Family Services, Juvenile Justice and Protective Services.
  • Published its first-ever public transparency dashboard
  • Is on track to meet the requirements outlined in the Kevin S. Corrective Action Plan

“Acting Secretary Casados is a strong choice to lead CYFD at this pivotal moment for New Mexico families,” said House Majority Leader Rep. Gail Chasey. “Gov. Lujan Grisham’s decision to nominate Casados as Secretary of CYFD allows for critical stability and continuity as the agency works to implement necessary changes to improve the safety and well-being of our children, while increasing accountability and transparency.”

Secretary Casados will step down from her role as Chief Operating Officer in the Governor’s Office on November 27.

In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Casados has led efforts to realize the vision and goals of the executive. This includes operationalizing the comprehensive state response to COVID-19, nationally recognized as one of the most successful in the nation, mobilizing disaster relief for wildfires, and standing up the Early Childhood Education and Care Department.