Child abuse or neglect is a serious matter that needs to be reported and investigated. While some individuals such as physicians, teachers, and social workers are mandated reporters and, therefore, required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect, any person can report suspected incidents of abuse or neglect 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline Unit at 1-800-392-3738. While you can non-mandated reporters can call anonymously, individuals reporting child abuse should consider identifying themselves, so the Children’s Division can contact you to complete their investigation. Regardless of which you choose, there are significant safeguards in place to keep the reporter’s identity confidential. Continue reading to learn more about the procedures involved in reporting child abuse in Missouri.
Child Abuse and Neglect in Missouri
If you plan to file a report, there is some information you should provide to effectively assist with this process.
Here is some of the information you will need when calling the hotline in Missouri:
- The child’s name & location
- The parent’s name(s)
- The person’s name that you suspect may be abusing or neglecting the child
Below is some additional information that will be helpful to provide as well:
- What did you witness that made you call the hotline?
- What happened to the child due to what you witnessed?
- What are you afraid may happen to the if nothing is done?
- Are you taking any other actions aside from calling the hotline, like calling the police?
- What do you believe needs to happen for you to believe the children are safe?
If you are unsure if the child is being abused or neglected, you can also reach out to the local Children’s Division office to discuss the matter. They may advise you whether you should call the hotline or not. Of course, it is generally best to err on the side of caution and to call the hotline if you suspect a child is being abused or neglected.
Reach Out to Our Experienced Family Law Team to Discuss Your Case
Child abuse is a serious matter that we all wish did not exist. At Lake Munro, LLC, our family law team can provide you the compassionate legal support you need to navigate your case and ensure your children are protected.
Call our legal team today at (314) 648-2186 for a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys.