The Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy announced a $141,000 grant from the U.S. Justice Department Monday for the state’s program that helps kids in homes where adults are doing or selling drugs. The director of the Iowa office, Gary Kendell, says Congressman Leonard Boswell helped secure the grant.
Kendell says they don’t have the details from the Justice Department yet on how the money can be spent, but the grant is intended to "sustain and expand" the Drug Endangered Children program. Kendell says program is an important part of fighting illegal drugs.
He says the program is a framework that brings together social workers, law enforcement, medical professionals and members of the community who want to keep kids in drug-affected homes safe. Kendell says the program was first started in response to children in homes where parents were making meth.
Kendell says now that meth labs have been reduced, the focus has shifted to homes where drugs are being used or sold. Kendell believes there’s still a big need for the program. Kendell says he knows from his days as a drug prosecutor that a lot of the homes where search warrants were executed included kids. Kendell says he remembers hearing the voices of kids on tapes where undercover buys of drugs were going down, "So, I think it’s a lot more common than a lot of people probably think." Kendell says they should get the grant and more details sometime this summer.