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.


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


The Iowa DEC Conference will be held in-person on Monday, April 3, 2023 at the FFA Center in Ankeny, IA!

Register here: https://events.unitypoint.org/en/4P1dQRr7/g/e2AJfTj587/2023-drug-endangered-children-dec-conference-5a2j6f11vUz/overview

The National DEC Conference will be held August 29-31, 2023 in Kansas City, MO!

National DEC Conference

Core DEC-Awareness Training and DEC Approach - Moving from Awareness to Action Training, which were developed by the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, are available in Iowa. To learn more about these free trainings, please contact Jennifer Sleiter at Jennifer.sleiter@unitypoint.org or (515)224-3300.