Drug Endangered Children in the Opioid Epidemic
This session will provide participants with an overview of Drug Endangered Children (DEC) in SC and the impact of the Opioid Crisis on children. Presenters will discuss Children who are at risk of suffering physical or emotional harm as a result of their exposure to legal and illegal substances. These exposures can be as a result of parent or caretaker addictions, misuse, illicit sales or manufacturing of abused substances. They may also be children whose caretaker’s substance misuse interferes with the caretaker’s ability to parent and provide a safe nurturing environment as well as those children living in a home where drugs are abused and/or illegally made, sold, traded or given away. Presenters will review the growing crisis in SC through sharing of data and trends seen related to Opioids in relation to child welfare, abuse and neglect, injury, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), toxic stress and impact on future health, wellness and success. Challenges, barriers and opportunities to the identification, prevention and coordination of care for DEC will be discussed. The session will also provide guidance on what professionals working with children can do to increase awareness and education about DEC in their agency and community, practical steps to take to address DEC through policies/protocols and training and how the community can collaborate for a unified and coordinated response. Goals of the presentation will be educating participants on how to improve outcomes for Drug Endangered Children and families with steps that participants can take to assist in addressing DEC in their communities. Opportunities for improvement, strategies to address gaps in care and services and the importance of collaboration and communication with community stakeholders will be discussed. Presenters will do case reviews of DEC, walking the participants through the process of identification, tracking, referral for services and developing a plan of safe care.