Drug Endangered Children

The Iowa Alliance for Drug Endangered Children defines drug endangered children as children who are at risk of suffering physical harm or neglect as a result of illegal drug use, possession, manufacturing, cultivation or distribution.

They may also be children whose caretakers' substance misuse interferes with his or her ability to parent and provide a safe and nurturing environment.

Iowa's drug endangered children efforts are a coordinated response to the impact of parental/caregiver substance abuse on Iowa children, who are often found to be living in deplorable conditions; neglected and suffering. Iowa professionals are coming together as teams to provide immediate intervention and follow-up care for these children. 

The Iowa Alliance for Drug Endangered Children reflects an advocacy community in Iowa driven by the need to stand up for Iowa children endangered by their parents or caregivers illicit drug use. The Iowa DEC community, like similar collaborative efforts in other states, is a committed group of professionals from multiple disciplines dedicated to finding solutions to the problems children face as the result of living with substance abusing parents, and to build a better world for these children.


Iowa's children will grow up in drug-free homes.


To empower communities to break the cycle of drug abuse in families by providing the tools, technical assistance, and training that allow for a collaborative response that ensures the safety of children.


Core DEC Training, which was developed by the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, is available in Iowa. To learn more about this free training, which is designed to help you begin or enhance local DEC efforts, please contact Susie Sher at 515-725-0308.

Iowa DEC Conference

National DEC Conference


A local Iowa DEC Alliance utilizing best practices ensures that children receive an immediate and appropriate medical exam, including a test for exposure to toxic chemicals and developmental screening. Upon being removed from the crime scene, the children are provided with new clothing, food, and, if needed, crisis counseling and a shower or bath to reduce chemical exposure. A forensic interview is conducted with the child in a child-friendly environment, and a medical exam is conducted to determine the child's immediate safety and to collect important evidence used in the drug and child abuse prosecutions and Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) cases.

Iowa Law Enforcement Protocol

Polk County DEC Protocol

Jasper County DEC Protocol 


Iowa Code Section 124.401C Manufacturing methamphetamine in presence of minors

Iowa Code Section 726.6(1)(g) Child Endangerment

Iowa Code Section 232.2(6) Child in Need of Assistance

Iowa Code Section 232.68(f) Child Abuse


National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children

Drug Endangered Children Guide for Law Enforcement