|What is a Drug Endangered Child? (DEC) |
A drug endangered child is one who is exposed to the manufacture, distribution, or use of harmful substances.
Innocent children are sometimes found in homes and other environments (hotels, automobiles, apartments, etc.) where drugs are produced, distributed, or used.
Harm to the children exposed to these environments can include:
- physical abuse;
- emotional abuse;
- sexual abuse; and,
- neglect, including failure to nurture, supervise, or provide meals, sanitary and safe living conditions, schooling and medical care.
Around the country, local Drug Endangered Children (DEC) programs have been developed to coordinate the efforts of law enforcement, medical services, and child welfare workers to ensure that children found in these environments receive appropriate attention and care.
State alliances for drug endangered children support the work of local DEC programs, providing public awareness about the issues, coordinated policy development, and training and technical assistance for local teams.