|Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect
FNEP personnel who see child abuse or
neglect are to report it immediately. Abuse and neglect definitions
according to MO law are:
Abuse: 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
Neglect: Failure to provide,
by those responsible for the care, custody, and control of the
child, the proper or necessary support and education as required by
law, nutrition, medical, surgical, or any other care necessary
for the child's well-being.
Here are instructions copied directly
from the Department of Social Services website on what to do if you
suspect child abuse or neglect: (you can go to their website
for these instructions and click on local DFS office to get the
phone number/contact person for your local county office.)
What should you do when you suspect
abuse or neglect?
CALL THE HOTLINE AT 1-800-392-3738. The Children's Division
staffs this hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
They will take information from you and respond to child abuse and
neglect. If you live outside Missouri and want to report abuse or
neglect of a Missouri child, call (573) 751-3448.
HAVE COMPLETE INFORMATION
DFS needs specific information to be able to respond to a complaint of abuse
or neglect. Be sure you have:
- The name of the child
- The name of the parent(s)
- The name of the alleged abuser
- Where the child can be located
You will also be asked:
- Is the child in a life-threatening
- How do you know about the
- Did you witness the abuse/neglect?
- Were there other witnesses and how
can they be contacted?
CONSIDER IDENTIFYING YOURSELF
Although you don't have to identify yourself when you make a hotline
call, being able to contact you later helps DFS workers do a more
thorough investigation. They may need to ask you for more
information during the investigation process.
For more information on the Family Nutrition
Education Programs available, contact your local Missouri County