Who We Are

The mission of the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (National DEC) is to break the cycle of abuse and neglect by empowering practitioners who work to transform the lives of children and families living in drug environments. We provide training and technical assistance to state DEC alliances and all those in the community who assist and care for drug endangered children.

We work to strengthen community capacity by coordinating efforts with state and local alliances and by providing training and technical assistance. We also connect resources to practitioners through our Resource Center. Because of support from individuals, corporate partners, foundations, and governmental agencies, National DEC provides program assistance to communities across the nation.

We believe that success begins with identifying children at risk. Recognizing children as victims gives us all an opportunity to provide intervention. By working together and leveraging resources, we can provide drug endangered children opportunities to live in safe and nurturing environments free from abuse and neglect.

Our History

The first official DEC effort was launched in 1993, in Butte County, CA, by Sue Webber-Brown and Mitch Brown. Nurtured by their enduring passion, the movement gained momentum. In1996, the California Governor’s Office awarded the first grants to establish DEC teams, a multi-disciplinary approach that involved law enforcement, social services, prosecutors and medical providers who would work together to identify children living in hazardous drug environments.

By 2002, twelve states had joined together to share information about drug endangered children in their own communities and to coordinate efforts to establish a National Alliance; in 2003, a steering committee was formed. In 2004, a COPS grant funded the first annual National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children Conference, which was held in Denver, Colorado.

In 2006, National DEC was officially incorporated as a charitable non-profit organization led by its Board of Directors. With funding from federal agencies, foundations, individuals, and corporate partners, National DEC boasts a full-time staff, board of directors, and a network of state DEC alliances and volunteer working group members. To promote best practices, strengthen collaboration, and increase awareness at all levels, we developed the first-ever online resource center. We also host an annual national conference, bringing together practitioners from across the nation and from a variety of disciplines aligned with our mission.

Our Goals

  • Raise awareness of the issue of drug endangered children.
  • Provide support, information, and resources to all individuals and organizations that serve and care for drug endangered children.
  • Facilitate multi-disciplinary, coordinated provisioning of services and care to drug endangered children.
  • Prevent endangerment to children in dangerous drug environments by encouraging intervention at the earliest possible point.
  • Develop and sustain a network of experts and professionals who can be called upon to conduct research, evaluate practices and procedures, and provide accurate advice and information regarding the needs of drug endangered children.

Our Core Values

  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Innovation
  • Collaborative Approaches 
  • Respect for Diversity
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