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Chief Justice Charles Daniels (`69) welcomes attendees to the Children's Law Institute. Seated is Gov. Susana Martinez and Brian O'Connell, executive director of the New Mexico Child Advocacy Networks.
Gov. Susana Martinez and Chief Justice Charles Daniels (`69) of the New Mexico Supreme Court opened the 18th annual Children's Law Institute on Jan. 12 in Albuquerque. Both expressed the importance of programs for children in New Mexico.
"We are in changing times filled with hard budget decisions, increased caseloads and heightened demands," said Daniels. "We are reminded now more than ever that we need a renewed sense of commitment to provide quality representation, guidance and services for all of New Mexico's children and families."
"As a former district attorney, I know firsthand the need to be vigilant about keeping our children safe," said Martinez in a prepared statement released later that day. "It is imperative that law enforcement and child services professionals have the necessary tools to make New Mexico a safer place. From day one of this administration, we have committed ourselves to fight for the future of our children and bring to justice those who would seek to do them harm."
The institute, sponsored in part by the Corinne Wolfe Children's Law Center and the New Mexico Judicial Education Center, both part of the University of New Mexico School of Law's Institute of Public Law, brings together professionals across disciplines who work in the state's child's welfare community. Title of the 2011 conference was "Children and Families Need Us Now More Than Ever."
A total of 35 workshops and plenary sessions were designed to refresh thinking about core topics and inspire new ideas among the more than 800 attendees who work in the areas of juvenile justice and child protective services.
Also featured during the three-day conference were members of the New Mexico Slam Poetry Team and Father Greg Boyle, a national expert on gangs who offers advice on the importance of adult attention, guidance and unconditional love in supporting young people.
January 19, 2011