It is estimated that nearly 150,000 children in Missouri live with a parent who abuses alcohol. Nearly 43,000 Missouri children live with a parent who abuses illicit drugs. An estimated 8,600 newborns are exposed to alcohol and another 4,000 exposed to illicit drugs during fetal development.
Child abuse and neglect is the leading cause of trauma- related deaths for children under the age of five. Each year in Missouri, parental substance abuse contributes to approximately 33 percent of court ordered out-of-home placements of children. Parental or caregiver substance abuse and addiction profoundly affect the child welfare system. One estimate indicates that substance abuse causes or contributes to 7 out of 10 cases of child abuse and neglect.
Harm to the children exposed to these environments can include: physical abuse; emotional abuse sexual abuse; and neglect, including failure to nurture, supervise, or provide meals, sanitary and safe living conditions, schooling and medical care.
MODEC is a multidisciplinary group of individuals and organizations from law enforcement, health services, mental health, the courts, social services, and others. The Missouri Alliance for Drug Endangered Children (MODEC) was established in 2008 by a group of Missouri state agencies and statewide nonprofit organizations and individuals concerned about children living in environments where substances are used, manufactured, or distributed.
The General Membership of MODEC meets on an annual basis. We are always looking for new general membership. Be sure to visit our website for more information and a Membership Form. www.mo-dec.org MODEC is governed by a Steering Committee that is comprised of 12 individuals from the General Membership. These 12 individuals must meet quarterly, but generally meet on a monthly basis.
The Missouri Alliance for Drug Endangered Children supports communities in serving and protecting children and families from drug environments by offering the following: Assistance in developing local multidisciplinary collaborations to address drug endangered children Support for existing multidisciplinary collaborations Education on and promotion of public awareness regarding the needs of drug endangered children.
MODEC currently has three nationally certified DEC trainers who are working with local communities to develop local DEC teams. Requests for training and/or technical assistance can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org@actmissouri.org
In 2012, ACT Missouri became the fiscal agent for MODEC. This has been a great partnership for both agencies. MODEC is planning to start working with ACT Missouri’s community coalitions to develop Local DEC Teams. Like the MODEC, the Local DEC Teams are multidisciplinary in nature and include members of law enforcement, prosecutors, mental and physical health services, social services, the courts, education, businesses, and many others from the community.
While each discipline has an individual role in drug cases, as a team, these individuals work together to make sure that the children in drug environments do not fall through the cracks, but receive necessary services and assistance. MODEC uses national standards to help the local teams develop guidelines for working DEC cases. Each community may be different depending on the nature of the drug related issues and makeup of the community.
Often, a Memorandum of Understanding is developed to specifically lay out each discipline’s role in a DEC case so that a unified approach is taken to provide the most effective response possible for drug endangered children. MODEC works closely with the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and the other 25 states who have DEC programs to ensure that the most current tools and resources are available to the local DEC teams.
Current Local DEC Teams in Missouri include: Jefferson County Greene County Sedalia Other communities may be providing a community response for DEC cases. To be recognized as a Local DEC Team, certain criteria needs to be met, and the proper form submitted to MODEC. This form can be found on the MODEC website at http://www.mo- dec.org/localteams/applicationlocaldecteam.html