The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children will hold trainings on how parents can recognize signs of drug use that their children may be exhibiting.

The Oct. 28 training will be at North Penn-Mansfield High School from 6-8 p.m. and the Oct. 29 training will be held at Elkland High School from 6-8 p.m. The trainings are free and open to the public.

“This is the fourth time that we are bringing this training to our area, the first time that we have offered it in the evening. We are doing evening sessions to accommodate those that work during the day that have been unable to attend the past few years,” said Michele A. Regalbuto, in-home manager, Family Services with SAM, Inc.

This training focuses on how to implement the DEC Approach which is a comprehensive strategy based on a common vision, ongoing collaboration between various disciplines and agencies, and ongoing changes in practice.

The training provides insights about how various practitioners — including child welfare professionals, law enforcement officers, court/judicial professionals, prosecutors, probation/parole, medical personnel, educators and treatment providers — are in a position to identify, protect, and serve drug-endangered children and their families.

The alliance defines drug-endangered children as children who are at risk of suffering physical or emotional harm as a result of drug use, possession, manufacturing, cultivation or distribution. They may also be children whose caretaker’s substance misuse interferes with their ability to parent and provide a safe and nurturing environment.

The trainers discuss the identification of risks to drug-endangered children and what all disciplines can look for when collecting evidence and information on drug-endangered children. The trainers utilize pictures and video of real DEC scenarios to assist professionals in understanding what to look for regarding the “life of the child.”

The training includes trainer-led discussions and hands-on exercises to demonstrate how implementing collaboration enhances the likelihood of better outcomes for drug-endangered children.

The primary challenge with drug-endangered children is in identifying children at risk and coordinating the various systems and disciplines charged with intervening and providing services to these children and families.

Conducting the trainings will be Lieutenant (retired) Eric Nation. He began his career in law enforcement in 1994. From 1996-2002, Nation was assigned to an undercover narcotics unit and from 2007-2012 was assigned as the Commander of the M.I.N.E. Taskforce–Eastside.

Stacee Read has spent nearly 20 years working in the child welfare field.