Prevent Child Abuse in Missouri
What is child abuse and neglect in Missouri?
According to Missouri law, the term “abuse” is not limited to abuse inflicted by a person responsible for the child’s care, custody and control, but also includes abuse inflicted by any other person.
Abuse is defined as any physical injury, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse inflicted on a child other than by accidental means by those responsible for the child’s care, custody, and control, except that discipline including spanking, administered in a reasonable manner, shall not be construed to be abuse. Victims of abuse shall also include any victims of sex trafficking or severe forms of trafficking as those terms are defined in 22 U.S.C. 78 Section 7102(9)-(10).
Neglect is defined as the failure to provide, by those responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child, the proper or necessary support, education as required by law, nutrition or medical, surgical, or any other care necessary for the child’s well-being. Victims of neglect shall also include any victims of sex trafficking or severe forms of trafficking.
According to the Child Welfare League of America, there were 4,585 victims of abuse or neglect in
Missouri in 2017, a rate of 3.3 per 1,000 children. Of these children, 58.5% were neglected, 29.7%
were physically abused, and 27.2% were sexually abused.
Who is a mandated reporter according to MO state requirements?
According to the Missouri Children’s Division Mandatory Reporter Guidelines, the following individuals and professions as mandated reporters in Missouri:
- Medical Examiner
- Resident (medical)
- Intern (medical)
- Hospital or Clinic Personnel that are engaged in the examination, care, treatment or
research of persons
- Any other health practitioner
- Daycare center or other child-care worker
- Juvenile Officer
- Probation or Parole Officer
- Jail or detention personnel
- Principal or other school official
- Minister (as provided by section 352.400, RSMo.)
- Peace officer or law enforcement official
- Other person with the responsibility for the care of children
- Volunteer or personnel of a community service program that offers support services for
families in crisis to assist in the delegation of any powers regarding the care and custody
of a child by a properly executed power of attorney pursuant to sections 475.600 to
Mandatory reporters can access online training to learn more about recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect.
How do I report child abuse in Missouri?
Anyone can report suspected child abuse, neglect, or exploitation to the Missouri Child Abuse & Neglect 24/7 Hotline at 1-800-392-3738. Here is an overview of the hotline procedures.
How do I get free online child abuse training?
Use the code STAYSAFE to enroll in Creating Safe Environments for Organizations, a free online training class. Leaders in organizations use this free online course to explore child abuse prevention best practices and help prevent child abuse in Missouri.
Looking for online child abuse training for individuals?
How do I contact the MO Department of Social Services?
Contact the Missouri Department of Social Services
205 Jefferson Street, 10th Floor
Jefferson City, MO 65103
Disclaimer: Please ensure the information and courses meet requirements for your organization and circumstances and align with what your state Department of Social Services requires. The state requirements and child abuse and human trafficking statistics listed on this page are current as of May 13th, 2021 to meet the best information available. State requirements may change and it is your responsibility to know your state mandated reporter requirements and the process for online child abuse prevention training. Compass Child Protection Training can not guarantee acceptance by your school, organization, or state Department of Social Services. If there is a child abuse emergency, call 911 immediately.