Amended by the Sampson County “Meth” Task Force Leadership Committee
April 20, 2005

  1. In the event that a Clandestine Lab is about to be raided and there is a possibility of children in the residence, law-enforcement will contact the Sampson County Department Social Services to begin preparations for responding to the scene if children are found.
  2. Sampson County DSS will place two social workers on standby prepared to respond to the scene if a lab is found and children are present.
  3. After law-enforcement verifies a lab is found in a residence or on the property in close proximity to the residence and children are present, they will then contact Sampson County DSS to respond to the scene. Sampson County DSS will respond immediately. Law enforcement will contact one of the two child welfare supervisors at the contact numbers maintained at the 911 communications desk.
  4. Sampson County Fire Marshal’s Office will assist Sampson County DSS in assessing for the need of on-site decontamination of the children by using the “Decontamination Field Assessment”.
  5. If decontamination is needed on the scene for the children, the Sampson County Fire Marshal will coordinate the needed procedures.
  • Sampson County DSS will provide a change of clothes for all children that are found on the scene prior to transport of these children from the location.
  • If a child has been found on the scene and after decontamination has been assessed and completed, EMS will assess the child for any medical treatment and handle accordingly. Should immediate medical treatment not be required on scene, the child will then be transported to Sampson Regional Medical Center or to any other hospital as deemed appropriate for further examination. In the event that Sampson County DSS transports the child to the hospital, SCDSS will contact SRMC or any other hospital as deemed appropriate when enroute regarding the situation in order for the identified hospital to have ample time to prepare for the child’s arrival and entering the hospital. Transportation of the child will be provided either by a parent, a relative, the Sampson County DSS, or by EMS in the event of a medical concern. The transportation concern will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  • If the child has not been in the home where the Meth lab was located at the residence or on the property in close proximity to the residence within the past 72 hours, the child can be taken to their pediatrician for evaluation. This would involve cases where the child was not found at the scene but was known to be living there, where the child has been out of the home for the last 72 hours, or where the child was found to be in the home with the lab but was unknown at the time the meth lab was found and 72 hours is passed.
  • Sampson County DSS will make every effort to ensure that the proper legal custodian is present and able to consent to medical treatment at the emergency room or at the medical provider’s office. In the event that the parent or legal custodian cannot be present to consent for any medical treatment/evaluations, Sampson County DSS will assess need for temporary custody to ensure such medical treatment is obtained.
  • Sampson County DSS will provide the physician at the Sampson Regional Medical Center or any other medical provider being used, with a copy of the Medical Protocol developed by the Drug Endangered Child Program. Social workers will need to make sure they get a copy of the Medical Protocol back after evaluations have been completed. With each test that has been completed, document the form. This is done so that social workers can provide information at the follow-up evaluations as to what testing was done for comparison data. A medical assessment and blood work will be completed on each child that is found to be in a home where a meth lab is located or in close proximity to the residence.
  • Placement of children in the home where a lab was found, or in close proximity to the home, cannot occur under any circumstance until the home is cleaned, tested, or in close proximity to the residence, and decontaminated using State prepared guidelines. Sampson County DSS will coordinate such home assessment with the Sampson County Environmental Health as determined by State guidelines.
  • The child will not be allowed to have contact with any item that was in the home where a meth lab was found due to contamination concerns.
  • Sampson County DSS will make a determination of whether a child needs to be placed into protective custody or if a placement with a safety plan in place can be used.

A. If DSS utilizes a safety plan, DSS will complete all paperwork that is required

regarding the Kinship Care Assessment before the child is allowed to stay in that


B. DSS will explain to the kinship care provider and/or foster care provider all of the

details as to what the child has been through. Social Workers will also explain all the

items that will be taking place in the future.

  • Sampson County DSS accepts all cases where children are alleged to be in homes with Meth labs as Abuse. As soon as possible, Sampson County DSS will submit written notification to the District Attorney a report of Abuse as well as to the appropriate Law Enforcement Agency or contact person.
    • Other steps that will be taken are:
      • All the child’s belongings will be replaced to protect from repeated contamination.
      • The child will be referred for counseling services. Determination of what other services are needed will be made on a case-by-case basis.
      • The parents will be required, whether they are incarcerated or not, to complete Substance Abuse Evaluation and follow all recommendations.
      • Upon completion of the parents Substance Abuse Evaluation, the parents involved in meth lab production with their children present will take part in a Meth Lab Hazard Training that may be available and coordinated through either the Sampson County Fire Marshal or through the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, if available.
      • Parents will have to take part in drug screens at the request of DSS or at the request of the substance abuse treatment provider at approved locations.
      • Children age 3 and under will be referred for a Developmental Evaluation.
      • The child will need a follow-up medical evaluation at or around 30 days from the initial evaluation that was completed, or as directed by the physician at the end of the initial evaluation.

Protocol for Field Assessment to Determine Need for

On-Scene Decontamination Prior to Transport

  • This protocol is a tool to evaluate potential personal contamination that would require field decontamination prior to patient/subject transport to another facility.
  • All sections of the protocol should be completed. A “yes” answer to any question indicates that there is a high possibility of a need for field decontamination prior to transport.
  • The decision to perform field decontamination must always be made with considerations of health status of the patient/subject and the risk of injury/contamination to health care or other service providers, facilities, or patient transport vehicles, especially ambulances. Additional consultation with other medical authority is appropriate.
  • Persons removed from contaminated environments such as chemical spills, fires or explosions should be presumed to be contaminated and should be decontaminated unless explosions should be presumed to be contaminated and should be decontaminated unless medical need prevents it or unless the individual can otherwise be made safe to transport.



1. Visible Residue or Stains, Powders, Liquids or Solids

On skin, especially face, arms and hands or hair

On clothes

On shoes

2. Detectable Unusual Odors

Ammonia, urine-like


Solvent-like, ether, white gas, lacquer thinner, camp stove fuel, etc.

Sulfur-like, skunk-like

Other unusual odors

3. Visible Derma Injury

Redness / Rashes

1 st, 2 nd, or 3 rd degree burns


White patches on skin

4. Possession of chemical, solvents or products on person.

5. Other indications of contamination

6. Evaluation

A “Yes” answer indicates a potential need for field decontamination. If all answers are “No”, then field decontamination is not required.












Medical Checklist for Children Found in Homes with Clandestine Lab
Situation within 72 Hours of Exposure

Suggested immediate care (within 12-24 hours) for children that have been found and removed from a Methamphetamine dwelling involves the requested items as a part of the medical assessment:

  • Obtain medical history.
  • Perform medical examination with particular attention to respiratory and

Cutaneous systems and nutritional status

  • Request clinical studies:

Blood } CBC

Comp Metabolic Panel

Urine } Drug Screen

Pulse Oximetry

  • Request DSS arrange follow-up examination with pediatrician or Health

Department physician within 30-days or as clinically warranted.

NOTE: Referral to mental health provider for counseling if appropriate.