What Does DEC Stand for?
DEC stands for Drug Endangered Children. "Drug Endangered Child” are children from birth to 18 years of age who lives in, is exposed to, or found in places where controlled substances are sold, manufactured, processed or used. Drug endangered children are at increased risk of injury or death, physical and sexual abuse and nutritional, educational, supervisory and emotional neglect. These children are also at risk of perpetuating the cycle of drug and child abuse.
The DEC Approach
This approach calls for members of the community to work together and collaborate when dealing with a situation where a drug endangered child is involved. There have been instances where a problem has been passed along to the next person without proper communication. This approach utilizes collaboration and communication between community actors.
Who are the community actors that are involved in this approach?
The short answer is EVERYONE is involved in this approach. However, more specifically it includes educators, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, Department of Children Services, and the court system. The belief is, if all of these professionals communicate with each other we can better serve our children in the community.
What's the TADEC?
The TADEC is simply the Tennessee Alliance for Drug Endangered Children. Here at The Cheatham County Community Enhancement Coalition Sid Sadler is the DEC Response Team Coordinator. Sid's role will be educating the community members about the DEC approach, and distributing materials informing the public as well.
ANY PERSON who has knowledge of or suspects abuse or neglect of a child MUST report it. The law makes no distinction between professionals and non-professionals.
In Tennessee you have a hotline available 24/7/365. The number is 1-(877)-237-0004.
Reports can also be made online via apps.tn.gov/carat
If you want any more information on mandatory reporting there is a training power point that will be linked here.