About Youth Heartline

Social Justice and Child Welfare Fundamentals

So before we can tackle how social justice intersects with the child welfare system, let's just lay some foundations for how the system is currently structures and how it came to be this way. Mary Ellen Wilson, Wikipedia Foundations A governmental child welfare system is based on the beliefs that caretakers have a duty to care for and nurture their children and that there is a baseline standard for doing so. Note that both of these beliefs must be present. If there's only one of the two, then any evaluation or judgment about quality of care will remain on the level of personal opinion. "I do not want to raise my children that way." And so forth. A third critical belief is that when a caretak

Summer Diversion - Cinco de Mayo

So I just realized that all of our blog posts so far have been about really heavy topics. Which is fair, the work we do often has to deal with such things. BUUUUUUT, it's a gorgeous day out, and I haven't had a chance to post these lovely pictures, so this week's blog post is going to be all about lovely pictures of children and families. It's always nice to remind oneself the goals we're striving for, working in child welfare! But fear not -- I've been talking with a collaborating partner of mine to put together a series of neat blog posts on a project that we've been working on that's of deep concern and passion for the both of us. And we're gonna start talking about it here! So stay t

What Is Social Justice

(Mia Mingus, Photo credit: Texas Isaiah) I've been thinking alot about the term "social justice" because I think for a lot of us, the term occupies a murky space not unlike "pornography." Not that they are related or similar in any way, but in that defining it can be really slippery for a lot of folks. How does social justice differ (if it does) from human rights or equality movements? Do we have to satisfy ourselves with "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it?" Aryeh Neier (the founder of the Human Rights Watch) defines human rights work as seeking constraints on the exercise of power, whereas he sees social justice work as seeking the redistribution of wealth and resources. I'm

In Memoriam: James Paul Burk

Dear readers, I want to apologize that the blog has been silent over the past month. A lot of things have happened at Youth Heartline, including the untimely passing of one of our family and a dear, close personal friend. This post is not about that friend (that will come later), but about another Youth Heartline family member we lost in November of last year. This most recent passing has been difficult, not least because it's a heavy reminder of our loss of James Paul Burk. A dear friend, and compassionate warrior for abused and neglected kids. Jim grew up and lived for most of his life in Los Angeles, but moved out to Raton, NM where one of his sons was in the local fire department. He

Youth Heartline is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1991 with offices in Taos and Raton, NM.  YHL provides essential child services to over 250 children and youth each year, including foster kids.

Our mission is to make life safer and better for vulnerable children and families in our community.

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224 Cruz Alta Rd, Ste F

Taos, NM 87571


Taos Pueblo

230 Rotten Tree Road

Taos, NM 87571



116 S. 3rd St

Raton, NM 87740


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Youth Heartline Staff are available most weekdays during business hours


9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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