24 hours a day, 7 days a week, there are wonderful (and underpaid) individuals working the Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline for Missouri and its families. While they cannot be thanked enough for the difficult and emotional work they do, knowing how to reach them and what to expect when you call, will make them more effective on the front lines of protecting Missouri’s children.
If you suspect that a child is being abused, neglected, or exploited and live in Missouri, please call 1-800-392-3738 or 1-844-CAN-TELL. This hotline is maintained by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Children’s Division. Anyone can report suspected child abuse, neglect, or exploitation to the Hotline. While you can remain anonymous when making a report, certain people are mandated reporters, meaning they are required to report any concerns because of their Job, and they may not remain anonymous. Either way, your identifying information is confidential by law and may not be released by Children’s Division.
If you call, be prepared with the following information:
- Child’s name
- Parent(s) names
- Alleged abuser’s name
- Where you believe the child can be located
- Your concerns; and
- Any other information you can provide to assist with Children’s Division’s investigation if one is opened.
While this kind of report does not require an attorney, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney if: you are a parent of a child who is being abused, have been accused of abusing a child, or Children’s Division requests to speak with you regarding an allegation involving you or your child.