Karen Coates

Coates is an investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker based in New Mexico. She specializes in reporting from the ground up, covering food, environment, health, and human rights. Coates was a finalist for a 2020 James Beard Foundation award in investigative reporting, and a Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Senior Fellow, 2011-2018. She is the author of four books, a contributing editor for Archaeology Magazine and a fellow at the International Women's Media Foundation. Coates holds a master’s degree from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana, with majors in journalism and anthropology.
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New Mexico lags in mandated foster care reforms

Two years after New Mexico agreed to overhaul its foster care system in response to a lawsuit claiming it systematically re-traumatizes children in its care, the state lags on its commitments and is struggling to enact the required reforms. The settlement of the Kevin S. complaint, named for one of the plaintiffs, was lauded as groundbreaking when it was announced in March 2020 for its promise to create a “trauma-responsive” system of care that prioritized placing children in secure family settings. But child welfare advocates say the state’s delays in implementing many of the settlement requirements puts thousands of children in state custody at risk of further harm.

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