Local Missouri communities raise awareness during National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and the Department of Social Services (DSS) Children’s Division asks you to join us in raising child abuse and neglect awareness and prevention in your community.  This year’s theme is “Thriving Children and Families: Prevention with Purpose.”


 
The pandemic has brought on many stressors to the children and families in Missouri, and across the country.  Despite the pandemic, we have seen how families can adapt and thrive in these trying times; yet, there are still families that struggle and need support.  Often, a call to Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline helps that struggling family connect to the help they need to keep the child safe, to overcome problems, and ultimately, become a stronger and safer family. 
 
“Any Missourian can report safety concerns for children to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline,” said Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director, Department of Social Services. “Our communities are the eyes and ears to connect our agency with Missouri children in unsafe situations. That call to report a concern can save a child from harm and help a family get the services and support to become a safer home and remain together. Earlier this year we made an upgrade to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline system to increase the Hotline’s capacity and efficiency, especially during times of high call volume, to improve the caller experience.”
 
Communities around the state have activities to recognize the importance of Child Abuse Prevention, check DSS event calendar, Facebook, and Twitter for information. We encourage you to get involved and show your support of keeping Missouri children safe from abuse and neglect.
 
The Department of Social Services urges every Missourian 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.