McGrath: Conferences to Focus on Supporting, Protecting Drug-Endangered Children
HELENA – Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath today announced that the Montana Alliance for Drug-Endangered Children will hold five conferences this fall focusing on supporting children affected by their parents’ drug abuse.
The Montana Drug-Endangered Children (DEC) Alliance has been in existence for about two years. It uses a multi-disciplinary approach to protect children found in dangerous drug environments. The alliance seeks to rescue, defend, shelter and support drug-endangered children, and it focuses on children exposed to methamphetamine use and production.
“Children in these types of environments present unique, serious challenges,” McGrath said. “They may be neglected or suffer physical or other types of abuse. They may suffer effects of being exposed to the chemicals used to make meth.
“Programs like the DEC Alliance help develop a coordinated response that includes law enforcement, child protective services, prosecutors, health officials and medical personnel.”
Training events are scheduled Sept. 19-20 in Sidney, Oct. 10-11 in Great Falls, Oct. 25-26 in Kalispell, Oct. 31-Nov. 1 in Billings and Nov. 16-17 in Missoula. Events last about a day and a half and there is no charge. Information is available on the alliance’s website.
Training covers clandestine lab safety; child abuse investigations; medical assessments of drug-endangered children; psychological and social needs of these children; prosecution of DEC cases and building local DEC alliances. Conferences will also cover development of local plans of action.
McGrath said the training events are aimed at child and family services workers; county attorneys; faith community leaders; emergency services personnel; fire and HAZMAT personnel; first responders; hospital emergency room personnel, doctors, nurses and social workers; judges; law enforcement personnel; mental health professionals, public health specialists, school counselors and administrators.