National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

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Timeline: Child identified in drug related investigation

DEA Victim Witness Assistance Program

Provides guidelines on responding to child victims found during drug related investigations. Divides actions and responsibilities into categories for investigations, protection, interventions, report, parent/caretaker, and outcome for child. Categories contain information on procedures to follow for law enforcement, child protective services, mental health, medical personnel, and legal professionals. Progress of the child victim is traced from initial discovery through intermediate intervention procedures (including parent/caregiver prosecution) to long-term permanency options. Notes that children should not be placed with relatives who are also drug involved, or who have failed to protect them previously. Also notes that both children and parents can be at increased risk for harm if drugs have been lost in a police seizure, leading to unpaid drug debt, and if a member of the household is perceived as a “snitch” or informant.