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Collaboration is called essential to helping drug-endangered children in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday helped open the three-day joint conference put on by the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and the Oklahoma Center on Child Abuse and Neglect at Oklahoma City's downtown Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
by Randy Ellis Modified: November 18, 2013 at 10:20 pm •  Published: November 19, 2013
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When law enforcement officers arrest adults for drug violations, they need to be keenly aware of what is happening to children in the home.

Collaboration is essential.

Those two points were repeatedly emphasized Monday during the opening day of a three-day joint conference put on by the National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and the Oklahoma Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Gov. Mary Fallin helped open the conference, which is being held at Oklahoma City's downtown Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center. The conference has attracted about 600 individuals including law enforcement officers, social workers, educators, medical professionals and speakers, officials said.

Fallin told participants she learned at an early age of the trauma that some children in this state experience because she grew up as the daughter of a child welfare worker.

“I can remember as a young girl my mother getting up in the middle of the night or on weekends and getting that phone call and saying, ‘There's a child in danger,'” Fallin said.

Fallin said her mother would go to pick that child up, and sometimes she would go with her.

Fallin said the memory of picking up children and dropping them off at shelters or foster homes has remained stuck in her mind as she has worked through policies, legislative sessions and budgets in her role as governor.

The governor and Darrell Weaver, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, cited several things Oklahoma has done to help traumatized children and improve social services in recent years.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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