Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Guidelines for Methamphetamine
January 2006
The following protocol is aimed at initiating a response system and a strategic plan
related to the combined interests of the Illinois Department of Children and Family
Services (DCFS), Law Enforcement agencies and the Illinois State Board of Education
(ISBE), as those interests focus on helping children who may have been endangered by
circumstances involving the illegal drug production of Methamphetamine. This
particular protocol is a statewide effortestablished to address these problems throughout
the State of Illinois. Law Enforcement, DCFS and ISBE have joined together in an effort
to implement strategies for the purpose of protecting children who have been discovered
in clandestine Methamphetamine drug production laboratories.
The goals of this protocol plan are aimed at outlining the Response System between Law
Enforcement, DCFS and ISBE. DCFS is requesting that Law Enforcement agencies
notify the State Central Register (SCR), commonly referred to as the child abuse hotline,
immediately after it has been determined that a child(ren) reside in the home with illegal
drug production. This notification fulfills Law Enforcement’s responsibility as mandated
reporters under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. This response system
will attempt to ensure that when Law Enforcement finds a situation wherein children
have had their safety compromised by an illegal drug production situation or
circumstance, a DCFS professional staff membershall be made available as quickly as
possible. DCFS and Law Enforcement will cooperate and assist each other (involving
ISBE where applicable) in making decisions regarding the needs of the child or children
who have had their safety endangered. The ultimate goal is meant to:
ƒ  Provide Law Enforcement investigators with a child welfare response system
that causes the needs of the involved children to be addressed quickly;
ƒ  Avoid any delays in the DCFS response that would interfere with important
child welfare outcomes aimed at ensuring child protection and safety;
ƒ  Promote a concurrent investigation between the Law Enforcement agencies
and the DCFS Child Protection system thatserves to protect the integrity of
the evidence needed for the dual outcomes of each investigative system; and
ƒ  Ensure that all affected children are enrolled in school.
Strategies, Expectations, and Concrete Efforts: The following encompasses the statewide
1. In order to enhance Law Enforcement’s response to the safety of children, Law
Enforcement officers should file a hotline report with the Child Abuse Hotline
(SCR) priorto any planned interdiction whenthey have prior information
pertaining to the presence of children. This call should be made to the standard
hotline number 1-800-25 ABUSE (1-800-252-2873). If it is an emergency and
they are unable to immediately reach a call taker, an alternative number to the
hotline supervisor’s desk (1-217-782-6533) can be used. This notification need
not be specific regarding information that is deemed classified and could
compromise the integrity of the investigation, but will provide DCFS adequate,
albeit limited, information with which toplan for the needs of the children who
might be involved. Law Enforcement staff who make these Hotline reports prior
to any planned interdiction need to be aware of and sensitive to DCFS' 24 hour
mandated response to all accepted Hotline reports per the Abused and Neglected
Child Reporting Act. This prior information will facilitate DCFS’ ability to
identify sufficient staff and other resourcesin advance so that the various needs of
the children, Law Enforcement, and DCFS are best served. In addition, in order
to maximize the quick response of DCFS staff and to facilitate child safety, Law
Enforcement should call the DCFS designated contact person for their geographic
area in order to coordinate their seizure with the assigned DCFS investigator.
2. If DCFS receives a hotline report or discovers what appears to be a
methamphetamine lab or the residue of a lab in a home where children reside or
frequent, DCFS shall not remain at the scene but immediately exit the premises.
DCFS shall immediately contact Law Enforcement and, where applicable, the
area clandestine lab team. DCFS also will contact the hotline immediately after
its call to Law Enforcement and the clandestine lab team to make a report if there
is not currently an active DCFS investigation on the family. The DCFS
investigator also has the option of taking a child abuse report in the field and
reporting it to the hotline for documentation.
3. If Law Enforcement discovers a methamphetamine lab or the residue of a lab in a
home where children resideor frequently visit:
a)  If there is evidence that children resideat the location and they are either
present or likely to return in the near future, Law Enforcement should
contact the child abuse hotline (SCR) and make a report pursuant to
their responsibility as mandated reporters.Secondly, Law
Enforcement should contact the local DCFS DEC contact person (see
contact list) and request assistance.
b)  Law Enforcement should contact SCR and make a report if there is
evidence that children reside at the location;however, if children are
not present or not likely to return in the near future, then DCFS shall make
necessary follow-up.
c)  If there are children present at the site, then Law Enforcement should
immediately take protective custody ofthe children if necessary, call the
child abuse hotline and await DCFS’ arrival. Except for emergency
medical treatment, children must not beallowed to leave the site in the
custody of anyone but DCFS or Law Enforcement unless DCFS has
completed an authorized safety plan.
4. In the case of Law Enforcement reporting to the child abuse hotline (SCR) that
they have found a lab with children present or likely to be present, the DCFS
investigator shall respond to the scene immediately. The investigator shall
confirm that the hotline has been contactedby law enforcement. If the hotline has
not taken the report yet, the investigator has the option of taking a field report.
Law Enforcement should still be sure to complete the hotline report to SCR.
ƒ  All Drug Endangered Children cases must be reported to the local DCFS-
DEC contact person (see contact list) immediately. This will ensure that
proper tracking and coordination is maintained.
5. Consistent with Law Enforcement’s present responsibility to secure and process
crime scenes whenever there are joint investigations between DCFS and Law
Enforcement, Law Enforcement will continue to take the responsibility of
securing the crime scene for the purpose of evidence collection and preservation.
In addition to processing the lab:
a)  Law Enforcement should work with DCFS investigators to
ensure that evidence is gathered to substantiate both the
DCFS child protection investigation and law enforcement’s
criminal investigation. Particular attention should be paid
to ensuring there is sufficient evidence to determine:
1) child abuse
2) child neglect
3) child endangerment
4) any other child safety related investigation
b) DCFS shall work with law enforcement in identifying evidence which
would enhance the child protection investigation and help in substantiating
the criminal investigation.
c) Law Enforcement and DCFS shall complete their investigation in a
manner that will enhance both criminal prosecution and juvenile court
adjudication. This will include courtroom testimony in each other’s
proceedings and the exchange ofthe appropriate DCFS and Law
Enforcement reports.
6. If children are present at the scene, DCFS shall assess the safety of the children.
The DCFS investigator shall determine whether protective custody and placement
of the children is required and assure that the children are in a safe environment.
If the clandestine lab team, law enforcement officers, or appropriate first
responders determine that the childrenwere exposed to lab chemicals and
require decontamination, then DCFS shall arrange for medical evaluation of
the children in accordance with the medical protocol. If there are no children
at the scene, but children who had been at the scene and meet the criteria for a
DCFS report, then DCFS shall locate those children and determine their safety
and need for medical assessment after the hotline report is made to SCR.
7. DCFS shall follow the medical protocolfor children found at methamphetamine
lab sites (see medical protocol). DCFS will request assistance from Law
Enforcement as needed to meet the requirements of the medical protocol. If there
is any indication that the child(ren) may not or will not be enrolled in school,
DCFS shall notify ISBE as soon as possible and request assistance as needed from
ISBE to ensure that the children are enrolled in school. Drug Endangered
Children shall be enrolled in school under applicable laws which may include (a)
federal and state homelessness laws and/or (b) any appropriate residency
provision included in the Illinois School Code (such as105 ILCS 5/10-20.12b, 105
ILCS 5/14-1.11 or 105 ILCS 5/14-1.11a.)
8. At the initiation of the investigation, DCFS and Law Enforcement should consult
with one another to coordinate any interviews of children, witnesses or family
members that will need to be conducted jointly to ensure the integrity of the
investigation and to preserveevidence for court purposes.
9. If DCFS determines the case should bescreened with the State’s Attorney’s
Office for a neglect/abuse petition, DCFS shall screen the case. If Law
Enforcement determines that criminal charges will be filed, then Law
Enforcement should refer the case to the State’s Attorney’s Office for that
10. If protective custody of a child who has been exposed to methamphetamine lab
chemicals is taken, the DCFS or private agency worker who makes the placement
shall provide a copy of the medical protocol to the foster parent/relative home
caregiver and advise them of the special follow-up needs of the child, and that the
caregiver should contact ISBE if he or she requires assistance in enrolling the
child in school. The child protection worker shall staff the case with the follow-up worker who will be receiving the case and provide him or her with a copy of
the medical protocol and advise him or her of the special follow-up needs of the
11. Law Enforcement and DCFS should initiatethis protocol on matters that involve
actual or predicted child safety situations, and contact ISBE if deemed necessary.
This protocol is meant to assign and engage DCFS staff members and Law
Enforcement responders as partnersin the interdiction response.

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