Oklahoma is bringing back the Drug Endangered Children chapter due to the resurfacing of meth labs and other incidents where children have been harmed or exposed to drugs.
This time, the chapter will be state-wide to create a set of guidelines for all counties.
"The idea is: there's a lot of law enforcement who will serve a search warrant or go to a home find kids living in deplorable conditions, and the question is what do we do with them? And sometimes different counties do different things, and there's no protocol or guidelines in place of what to do with these kids," Woodward says. "Now also what do we do about making sure that they're not put back into that home until the parents are ready."
Woodward says this training across the state will help set those needed guidelines.
"This puts on guidelines for: law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, DHS, mental health; brings them all to the table and creates a set of guidelines so that everybody is , so to speak, singing off the same sheet of music when we find kids living in a dangerous environment," Woodward says. "And making sure that these kids are protected and not put back in the home before the parents are ready to receive those kids back in to that environment."
The next scheduled training sessions are in Miami, July 22, and in Edmond, July 31. Oklahoma will also be hosting the National Drug Endangered Children Conference in Oklahoma City this November.