Consistent with our approach in California and Arizona, we have contracted with an external evaluator to assess our work in New Mexico. We are in the early stages of developing and executing an evaluation plan, including finalizing an evaluation indicators matrix, ensuring we are tracking the case management data that will be needed for evaluation purposes, and exploring methods for obtaining the education data needed for both practice and evaluation purposes.
The New Mexico Children’s Court Improvement Commission worked with The Administrative Office of the Courts, the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED), and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) to share data about education outcomes for youth in foster care and in the juvenile justice system. This work began in 2012 and the initial report was completed in early 2016 using data from the 2013-2014 school year. Casey Family Programs funded this work for a period of time, although their funding ended in 2016. The PED and CYFD renewed their memorandum of understanding (MOU) in August 2016. FosterEd is a part of the data share meetings regarding the new MOU.
The findings from the initial report show that students in foster care and involved in juvenile justice have higher special education involvement than other students. They also have lower scores on state standardized tests and move schools more frequently.
New Mexico is working to address these barriers as well as refine their data sharing to include information on graduation rates and school discipline for system-involved youth.
FosterEd works closely with schools in Lea County to ensure that we have good information about the students we serve directly and that our work is benefiting students. We have an MOU with Hobbs Municipal Schools to ensure that we are able to get accurate information and provide de-identified information to our evaluator.