Services provided for Tennessee children rescued from meth labs

Services provided for Tennessee children rescued from meth labs

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Meth residue is why children from meth homes must leave everything behind and that's where DCS and local agencies step in. Meth residue is why children from meth homes must leave everything behind and that's where DCS and local agencies step in.
“They pretty much lose everything they have, they can’t even keep the clothes they were wearing they can’t bring stuffed animals or toys or anything of that nature,” explained Carren Broadnax. “They pretty much lose everything they have, they can’t even keep the clothes they were wearing they can’t bring stuffed animals or toys or anything of that nature,” explained Carren Broadnax.
“When meth is being made it puts up a big cloud of kind of invisible dust or vapor so there’s residue on everything,” explained Ann Bowman, the executive director of CASA. “When meth is being made it puts up a big cloud of kind of invisible dust or vapor so there’s residue on everything,” explained Ann Bowman, the executive director of CASA.
By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Three children are in state custody after they were removed from an active meth lab in Knox County.

Previous story: Meth lab found at N. Knox County home, 3 children taken to hospital


Selina Murphy, 41, Rickey Farris, 43, were arrested and now face several drug related charges when KCSO were attempting to serve a warrant at a home on East Emory Road.

The house is now under quarantine and everything inside will need to be decontaminated. Three young girls, ages 3, 4 and 6 were living in the downstairs part of the home with their great-grandmother.

“They pretty much lose everything they have, they can’t even keep the clothes they were wearing they can’t bring stuffed animals or toys or anything of that nature,” explained Carren Broadnax with the Knox County division of the Department of Children Services.

Broadnax could not comment directly on this case but says when law enforcement arrives on the scene of a meth lab with children present, investigators from DCS are right there alongside them.

“They’ll go through a cleaning process and the hospital will do an evaluation, check and make sure they’re okay,” said Broadnax.

Monday the girls were taken to Children's Hospital. Because of confidentiality concerns, the hospital cannot release their conditions. However, the Executive Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children says there is a serious danger for children exposed to meth production.

“When meth is being made it puts up a big cloud of kind of invisible dust or vapor so there’s residue on everything,” explained Ann Bowman, the executive director of CASA.

That residue is why children from meth homes must leave everything behind and that's where DCS and local agencies step in.

“We’ll go through our clothing room and try to pull anything together so they won’t show up at the house empty handed, we have stuffed animals, we have blankets, underwear socks, shoes,” said Broadnax.

There are also toys to help give a sense of normalcy while they're in state custody.

“We like having things on hand that let them still feel like kids,” Broadnax.

Bowman says it’s a difficult experience for children.

“It’s just heartbreaking to see,” she said. But cases in Knox County are declining.

According to DCS there were four children taken into custody from meth related incidents. In 2012 there were nine and in 2011 there were 15.

Web Extra: Meth related Custodies by County [XLS]

Meth labs are also going down in the state. So far this year there have been 499, that’s down from the same time last year according to the director of the Tennessee Meth Task Force.

He said this year there have been 124 children taken from meth labs so far across the state.

“By and large we expect it be a fight for a while but one we will continue to try to conquer and win,” said Broadnax.

DCS says they are always looking for donations. If you would like to help you can contact the main office at DCS at 865-329-8879.

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