Local agencies commit to helping drug endangered children
POSTED: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 6:26pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 6:26pm
El Paso, TEXAS — More than 29,000 children in El Paso County live with a parent who abuses alcohol and drugs, according to a national survey.
Wednesday, the Texas Alliance for Drug Endangered Children tried to bring awareness to our area by inviting more than 20 local agencies to sign a letter. Reaffirming their commitment to improve how they identify and intervene in situations where children are put in drug endangered environments.
Here's another staggering number: in Texas there are over 24,000 babies born exposed to drugs and alcohol a year. April is also child abuse prevention month and so the DEC task force figured this was a perfect opportunity to bring attention to child abuse and neglect.
El Paso County is recognizing this week as drug endangered children awareness week.
"Taking care of the children that often times find themselves in these deplorable situations," said Joe Arabit with the DEA.
The DEC task force says children are in harm's way because the borderland serves as the El Paso/ Juarez corridor, the biggest drug hub in the nation distributing drugs all over Texas and the nation.
"We're gonna protect our kids and do the most preventative form of medicine which is protect our children, so they can grow up healthy," said El Paso Children's hospital CEO Larry Duncan.
The collaboration will work to apply for new grants hoping to fund more programs, more education and grass root efforts.
The mission for this task force is to unite agencies like first responders, law enforcement, and child protective services so that children exposed to drugs can be identified and helped.