National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

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“National DEC What you Need to Know”

What DEC efforts are happening in your community?

“DEC trainings; DEC information shared at community events; New or improved collaboration between DEC partners (child welfare/CPS, law enforcement, educators, prevention specialists, healthcare providers, etc.); Early identification of children impacted by substance misuse and appropriate intervention”

What We Do…

Turning Interest Into Action

National DEC Mission

The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children teaches early identification, response, and appropriate intervention services for children and families affected by parental or caregiver substance misuse. We equip comprehensive, multidisciplinary alliances, communities, organizations, and individuals with access to our national resource center, training, and technical assistance.

National DEC Vision

Our vision is 100% healthy, safe children, families, and communities free from the negative impact of substance misuse and drug activity.

National DEC Values

  • Integrity
  • Truth
  • Ethics
  • Collaboration
  • Excellence
  • Financial Stability
  • Making A Difference
  • Reliability
  • Respect
  • Community

Our DEC Definition

The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children defines drug endangered children as children who are at risk of suffering physical or emotional harm as a result of legal and/or illegal drug use, possession, manufacturing, cultivation, or distribution.

They may also be children whose caretaker’s legal and/or illegal substance misuse interferes with the caretaker’s ability to parent and provide a safe and nurturing environment.

Trauma Informed Organization

National DEC is committed to being a “trauma-informed” organization in which all components of our services, programs and systems have been reconsidered and evaluated in the light of a basic understanding of the role that trauma plays in the lives of people we seek to serve. We are committed to:
  • Supporting and sustaining “trauma-specific” services as they develop
  • Recognizing that trauma results in multiple vulnerabilities and affects many aspects of a survivor’s life over the lifespan
  • Coordinating and integrating trauma-related activities and trainings with other systems of care serving trauma survivors
All staff have an understanding of trauma and dynamics:
  • Realizing the widespread impact of trauma and understanding the potential paths to recovery
  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of trauma in children, families, our partners and our staff
  • Responding by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, practices, and procedures
  • Our staff and leadership avoid re-traumatization by promoting choices, advocating for voices to be heard, and reducing unequal power dynamics; we deliver services, training and programs in collaboration between leadership, staff, partners and consumers
National DEC is committed to be a trauma-informed organization that is knowledgeable and competent to recognize and respond effectively to children and adults traumatically impacted by any of a range of overwhelming adverse experiences, both interpersonal in nature and caused by natural events and disasters.


Since 2003, National DEC has provided expert training, technical assistance, programs, resources, support to thousands of professionals, partners, organizations, parents and caregivers nationwide, annually. Our training and technical assistance are centered around children and families affected by substance misuse and all of the related and corollary effects. We hold a national DEC conference every two years, host webinars, podcasts, peer-to-peer best practice sharing meetings and provide training and technical assistance in all 50 states either online or in person.


National DEC develops, organizes, trains and equips DEC Alliances nationwide. DEC Alliances are multidisciplinary teams of professionals that are the cornerstone of efforts to improve the lives of children and families affected by legal or illegal substance misuse. We are committed to expanding and sustaining our national DEC network. National DEC provides leadership development, strategic planning, protocols and procedures, broad training, technical assistance, grant writing support and funding collaboration to our alliances.


  • DEC Awareness Training
  • DEC Approach Training
  • DEC Academy
  • Training of Trainers Course
  • Technical Assistance related to DEC and corollary effects
  • Resources: 1-pagers, videos, checklists, guides and more
  • CheckDEC mobile application with resources and services
  • A national DEC conference every two years
  • All Hands On DEC peer-to-peer best practice sharing and collaboration quarterly online meetings
  • Regular networking opportunities
  • Experts in the field whom we call upon to conduct research
  • Accurate advice and information regarding the many needs of drug endangered children
  • Responding to “Ask an Expert” inquiries
  • Webinars and podcasts on current topics
  • E-updates
  • Contributions to a variety of publications
  • Grant writing and funding collaboration

At National DEC, we believe the best way to address the needs of drug endangered children is a coordinated approach that puts children’s needs first as they have historically been the first impacted and often the last identified.

We are proud to work alongside law enforcement, prosecutors, social services, medical personnel, treatment providers, prevention experts, probation and corrections, first responders, teachers and many more. We believe that all professionals who have the opportunity to identify children affected by substance misuse should be trained to share a common vision, work collaboratively and change responsively. With support from individuals, corporate partners, foundations, and governmental agencies, National DEC provides program assistance to communities across the nation.