State officials announced another year of federal support Monday for a statewide program aimed at protecting children who are living in homes where illegal drugs are prevalent. Federal officials are providing $150,000 for the state’s Drug Endangered Children initiative.
Iowa’s drug policy coordinator, Gary Kendell, says the federal money will be split into small grants distributed to Drug Endangered Children alliances across the state. “They can use it for things like clothing and toiletries for kids who are rescued from homes where drugs are being manufactured or other drug-related issues are present,” Kendell says, “they can use it for childcare to allow parents to pursue educational opportunities or employment opportunities.”
Kendell says the six-year-old initiative has successfully brought social service agencies, police and medical personnel into better working relationships in cases when the welfare of kids is endangered by the presence of drugs in their homes. Kendell says, “I think it’s given law enforcement officers a better, more realistic perspective of the jobs and views of social workers and vice versa and I think that helps those lines of communication to be open — helps the sharing of information, obviously — and in the end it helps procure the safety of more of our kids.”
The federal money will make up nearly the entire budget for the anti-drug effort.