Governor Parson Proclaims April Child Abuse Prevention Month
Governor Parson has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Missouri.
“As a former law enforcement officer, I understand the devastating impact abuse and neglect can have on a child’s life. It is critical that we continue to raise awareness about child abuse prevention and remind Missourians that children are relying on us to protect them,” Governor Parson said. “I also want to thank the many groups and organizations across the state that provide vital resources to families throughout the year to help keep our children safe.”
Calls to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline are a vital mechanism to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Missouri children. Reporting a concern about a child can connect a family with the support and help they need to keep the child safe at home. Ensuring parents and caregivers have the knowledge, skills, support, and resources they need to care for children are paramount to reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect. Often, the efforts of local communities and organizations make it possible for families to become stronger and the home safer for the child.
The Department of Social Services asks Missourians to be especially attentive to the safety and wellbeing of children during COVID-19 and strongly encourages anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect to call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-392-3738. The Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is answered 24-hours a day, every day, all year round. Callers can report anonymously.
Anyone can report suspected child abuse, neglect, or exploitation to the Missouri Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline. Certain people are mandated reporters, meaning they are mandated by occupation to report any concerns. These certain occupational groups, include occupations such as teachers, social workers, and physicians. Effective August 28, 2004, Missouri law requires all mandated reporters to identify themselves when making a report. For more information, review the guidelines for mandated reporters at dss.mo.gov.
You can remain anonymous when making a report, but we encourage you to consider identifying yourself. Being able to contact you later helps the Children's Division staff complete a more thorough investigation. They may also need to ask you for more information during the investigation process.
When making a report, be sure to have the following information: Name of the child, Name of the parent(s), Name of the alleged abuser, Where the child can be located. You will also be asked to describe your concerns and for any other helpful information you can provide.
The mission of the Department of Social Services is to empower Missourians to live safe, healthy, and productive lives. Visit dss.mo.gov to learn more about the Department of Social Services.
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