Representatives from the National Drug Endangered Chldren Alliance are in Fremont County this week conducting a training seminar for local law enforcement and social service agency representatives. Eric Nation of Westminster, Colo., above, led one of the training programs at CWC. (Ernie Over photo)
(Riverton, Wyo.) – Two representatives from the National Drug Endangered Children Alliance have been in Riverton the last two days conducting a seminar on how local agencies can work together to help children.
“We are very big on collaboration with all agencies working together to focus on the child,” said Eric Nation, one of the Colorado-based instructors during a break in Wednesday’s all-day session at Central Wyoming College. The training is continuing today. Participating are law enforcement, Department of Family Services, social workers, Probation and Parole officials and representatives from area schools. A total of 59 people are registered for the training.
“For law enforcement, they need to get their arrests in abuse cases, but we want them to see the child in those circumstances and make the best decisions possible for them to help break the cycle for the next generation,” Nation said. “I’m hoping we’ll be able to create a local alliance of agencies and that’s what we’ll be discussing (on Thursday). “The cycle of abuse and neglect is generational, so it will take all of us to address this.”
The training was spearheaded by Jennifer Neely at Child Protection Services. “About 80 percent of what we are doing here is focused on child welfare,” Nation said.
Also instructing the seminar is Stacey Reed, a 16-year Child Welfare worker. Nation spent 18 years in law enforcement and decided to leave “for a good cause.” Both are headquartered out of Westminster, Colo.
The training is being hosted by the Rural Justice Training Center at Central Wyoming College. Director Eric Heiser said that through the training, local officials hope to create a Drug and Endangered Children program in Wyoming. “It’s important that the agencies have an understanding of each other, to respond better,” Heiser said. “The main point is that when kids are found in dangerous situations by law enforcement, the right people are notified.”
The City of Riverton Police Department recently created a Child Welfare Investigator position to make sure children don’t fall through the cracks. Read about that initiative by clicking here.