While doing the first radio interview I have done in a number of years I was asked the question of how and why I got into this line of work. Having the opportunity to answer that question enabled me to reflect on what really has brought me to this point. Honestly, it is strange that I have been led to a place where I am working with the exact people and subject matter than I wanted to avoid. I wanted to have a simple, drama free life where I got to work with children and be helpful to families. I wanted to make sure children I tested or taught as a child development major did better because of my work. Just when I was graduating and the world of opportunity should have opened, I realized that with a degree I would make slightly more than minimum wage. Add the college loans that would soon be due and I quickly realized I needed additional work. Who knew that the weekend job I would find would change the course of my life.
For twenty dollars per urine sample, I would go to jails and prisons, listen to stories and collect urine to see how many offenders were under the influence at the time of arrest. The stories I would hear would change my life. Actually, that isn”t exactly correct. The answers were a coded response, it was actually the looks on those faces that I would see time and time again. The faces I saw were white and black. They were male and female. They belonged to individuals who had committed crimes against humanity and property. Some had heartlessly taken the life of another, some even taking the life of a child.
I was not there to do anything other than collect information. I never got a full story, at least not at that job. The full stories would come much later. What I did “get” fully was that the pain of a childhood filled with drug-fueled neglect and abuse scars the life of adults. It would be years later when I would recognize the apathy, fear and pain on the faces of children. It was then I recognized the ripple effects that addiction and abuse passes on to another generation of drug endangered children. Drug fueled abuse has no conscience, it has no memory. It has no loyalty to anything or anyone but the drugs of abuse.
It is for this reason that the National Drug Endangered Children Training and Advocacy Center was conceived and exists today. Since incorporating, we have helped over 120 children for whom the system could easily forget. There are a number of reasons these children may be more difficult to help. I will be sharing some of these stories in future weeks. I hope you will read, comment, and share. If you also believe in what we are working toward, I hope you will consider making a donation or helping spread the word by purchasing and wearing a Healing Hearts t-shirt during April, Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Your help will directly benefit families and children. We are committed to interrupting the impact of trauma in the lives of children. We thank you for joining these efforts to help children.
Please ask others to visit: www.ndec-tac.org
The National Drug Endangered Children Training and Advocacy Center, Inc. is s 501c3 corporation that provides investigation assistance to professionals working with any aspect of a drug related child abuse case and advocacy for children whose circumstances require assistance to keep them from falling through system cracks. We are dedicated to also assisting recovering parents by offering a forum to discuss the realities of parenting in recovery.