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Drug Endangered Children: Guide for Law Enforcement

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2013
36 pages
This is a guide for law enforcement professionals on how to deal with the risks that children face when their caregivers are involved in drug activities or substance abuse.
The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (DEC) provides training specifically for law enforcement professionals on what evidence to collect during investigations that involve children at-risk in a home environment influenced by drug abuse. The training also provides tools that help officers document their findings on the child's living environment over time. This documentation strengthens the case for processing in both the criminal court and the family court, which deals with cases of dependency and neglect. By identifying the children who are at high risk of becoming the next generation of drug users, law enforcement can initiate the process of breaking the cycle of caretaker maltreatment of the child. One section of the guide outlines the components and steps for building and participating in a DEC local alliance, which is a multidisciplinary organization of representatives of the various community organizations concerned about children who are maltreated in their home environments due to substance abuse by their parents/caregivers. This guide explains the role of each discipline represented in a DEC local alliance, including law enforcement. The guide provides a listing of additional resources available from the National DEC Web site.