National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

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Drug-endangered children: Crafting a response to trauma

Fallon, M.

This presentation explains the importance of developing a trauma-informed response for drug endangered children. Provides an overview of methamphetamine and its effects on users and children of meth-involved parents. Outlines the dangers of prenatal exposure and exposure to meth lab environments, as well as the risks of living with meth-using adults. Notes importance of DEC response protocols in addressing the immediate needs of meth-exposed children. Describes the characteristics of traumatized children and explains how to work with them in a caring, nonjudgmental way. Discusses the importance of trauma-informed caregiving, for both child welfare professionals and foster parents, when a child is placed in out-of-home care. Also notes the need to support the biological parents and advocate for the child. Outlines the age-specific emotional, developmental, and caregiving needs of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, but notes that all children need to feel nurtured and secure.