CWC Support for Children's Court Judges & Hearing Officers

The Corinne Wolfe Center for Child and Family Justice (CWC) provides resources, training, and support to New Mexico’s Judges and Hearing Officers who hear child welfare and juvenile justice cases. If you are a judicial officer, we’re here to help you.


New Mexico Resources

The CWC produces two comprehensive guides to New Mexico’s Children’s Court proceedings:

New Mexico Child Welfare HandbookJuvenile Justice HandbookSearchable versions of these Handbooks are available to download on our Publications page, along with a series of New Mexico Best Practices Bulletins and other helpful documents, including a newly updated Summary of Key Provisions in ICWA produced for the New Mexico Tribal State Judicial Consortium.

Judicial Resources from National Organizations

Reasonable Efforts: A Judicial Perspective, by Judge Leonard Edwards (Ret.), from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

The Resource Guidelines: Supporting Best Practices and Building Foundations for Innovation in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Child Safety: A Guide for Judges and Attorneys from the National Resource Center for Child Protective Services, the National Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues, and the American Bar Association

“When You Decide . . .” A Judge’s Guide to Pregnancy Prevention Among Foster Youth with Bench Tools and Scripts from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges


Children’s Court Judges and Hearing Officers hear cases that require specialized training. New Mexico’s Judicial Officers can obtain this special training by attending:

  • the annual NM Children’s Law Institute (held in January each year),
  • annual cross-training (held regionally in the spring on special topics),
  • child-focused workshops at the annual Judicial Conclave each June,
  • monthly videoconferences,
  • periodic training specifically for judicial officers, or
  • the CWC's annual "core curriculum," Essential Information for Practicing and Presiding in Child Welfare Cases.

Video Conferences for Children’s Court Judicial Officers

Video Conference

All Children’s Court Judges and Hearing Officers are welcome to participate in the CWC's monthly videoconferences, which are held from noon to 1 pm on the first Wednesday of each month. The videoconferences are designed for peer-to-peer learning. For information about how to join a videoconference, please contact Cristen Conley.

The videoconferences listed below in red are especially designed for newer judges (and their mentors). Materials from each videoconference are posted below.

2016 Video Conference Materials

DateTitles & Materials
March 16, 2016Adverse Childhood Experiences in the New Mexico Juvenile Justice Population
April 6, 2016HB 28 and SB 49: Changes to the Children's Code and Substitute Care Act (attachment: 2016 legislative summaries)
May 4, 2016Transition and Educational Planning for Youth in Foster Care (attachment: FosterED Template and Transitioning Planning)
June 29, 20162016 Preventing Sex Trafficking of Youth (attachments: Federal Legislative Update, Guide to Human Trafficking, Information Memorandum, NCJFCJ, trafficking in schools,
understanding Human trafficking)
July 6, 2016The Developmental Origins of Delinquency (attachments: ACE and toxic stress, ACE toxic Stress Harvard Center, Developmental origins of delinquency)
August 3, 2016Understanding the Science of Infant Mental Health
September 7, 20162016 Infant Mental Health Teams and the Role of the Court

2015 Video Conference Materials

DateTitles & Materials
February 4, 2015Ex Parte Custody Orders and Custody Hearings
March 4, 2015Trauma Informed Courts
April 1, 2015Adjudication and Disposition
May 6, 2015Judicial Reviews
August 5, 2015Evidentiary Issues in Children’s Court Cases
September 2, 2015:ICWA
October 7, 2015Permanency Hearings and Termination of Parental Rights
November 4, 2015Adoption and Permanent Guardianship
December 2, 2015Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Essential Information for Practicing and Presiding in Child Welfare Cases

A core curriculum for judges and lawyers

CWC provides 2+ days of training each summer that introduce the central legal concepts and practices unique to civil child abuse and neglect cases in New Mexico. The training is perfect for both new and experienced judges and contract attorneys. This "core curriculum" provides a comprehensive overview of the child welfare system, from investigation to appeal, emphasizing constitutional and statutory requirements that apply to in-court proceedings and out-of-court events. The training covers:

  • The Medical Manifestations of Child Abuse and Neglect
  • A History and Overview of Key Principles
  • How a Family Enters the System
  • The Role of the Court and the Parties at Each Phase of the Case
  • Introduction to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
  • The Role of the Judge in Child Welfare Cases

Please see our Programs Calendar for the next available training dates.