National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

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Drug endangered children: Guide for law enforcement

National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children – 2013

An educational resource on drug endangered children for law enforcement professionals. Provides an overview of the DEC approach to addressing the needs of children exposed to dangerous drug environments. Notes the benefits of multidisciplinary collaboration. Explains the importance of evidence gathering in DEC investigations. Presents data illustrating the connection between parental substance use (and illegal drug activity) and child abuse and neglect. Outlines challenges of implementing the DEC approach, and provides advice on how to address them. Describes the core elements of the DEC approach, including identification of children, collaboration between disciplines, and evidence collection. Provides examples of evidence indicating risk of physical abuse, risk of neglect, risk of exposure to illegal activities, and other risks (such as incapacitated caregivers and child suffocation). Lists examples of emotional, behavioral, and cognitive problems faced by drug endangered children. Outlines key elements of state and local DEC alliances, such as bylaws and protocols, communication, public awareness, and policy support. Includes suggested steps and timeline for starting a DEC alliance. Also includes resources for further information.