Protecting Nebraska's children has been a primary goal of Nebraska communities as disturbing trends have emerged regarding the number of Nebraska children affected by abuse and neglect. As data collected shows ever increasing numbers of children exposed to the dangers of illicit substances, children's advocacy groups have organized educational campaigns and advocated for a stronger community response to more effectively address the issue of child abuse in Nebraska.
The Drug Endangered Children Program, in Nebraska and nationally, strives to change the course of what a child lives and learns as the result of living with drug-using parents. These children faces numerous psycho-social risks including:
- Increased violent behavior towards children
- Severe Neglect (caregivers not present, high or "crashed")
- Increased Sexual Abuse
- Emotional Abuse & chaos
- Exposure to Unsafe Conditions (Toxins in easy reach, exposure to ingredients/chemicals of the cook)
The DEC program aims to change the course and improve the lives of these children by steering them away from the drug environment and into permanent placements with caring adults that are healthy. The goal is to prevent these children fom learning criminal and addictive behaviors and from becoming the next generation of substance abusers and drug manufacturers.
Children and the Impact of Drugs
The reasons for having an Nebraska Drug Endangered Children Program are compelling, and the challenges that lie ahead are enormous. Nebraska law enforcement officers continue to report finding children in locations where illegal drugs are being used, manufactured or trafficked and, in partnership with child protective workers, they remove these children from the socially and environmentally toxic environment of drug activity. DEC is all about Nebraska's children and rescuing them when they are victimized by parental drug use and drug manufacturing.