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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Officials say new guidelines will help protect South Carolina's children who have been living in places associated with drugs.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Thursday the protocols detail how law enforcement, public health and welfare officials should react when children are discovered living in a place where drugs have been used, dealt or manufactured.

Candice Lively of the University of South Carolina Children's Law Center says her department will coordinate free trainings for agencies around the state that want to learn how better to respond in such situations.

Agencies including the Department of Health and Environmental Control and the State Law Enforcement Division are part of a statewide alliance helping put the new guidelines to use. Nettles says the plans have been in the works for about two years.

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