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April 1, 2022

Child Abuse Prevention Month emphasizes the importance of communities working together to keep children safe

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

“Members of the community play a vital role in helping our agency keep Missouri’s children safe,” said Darrell Missey, Children’s Division Director. “A call of concern to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is often the first time the Children’s Division learns of any potential risks or struggles for a family. It is important to remember that anyone can make that call and help us strengthen families and ultimately ensure children are living safely in their home.”

In Fiscal Year 2021, the Children’s Division received 54,515 reports of suspected child abuse and neglect, which resulted in contact with families to ensure child safety and to assess the family’s needs for services and supports.

Communities around the state host activities throughout the month of April to recognize the importance of Child Abuse Prevention. We encourage you to get involved and show your support of keeping Missouri children safe from abuse and neglect. For more information, check the DSS event calendar or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Helpful resources and additional information about how we can work together to keep children safe can also be found on our website, including child safety resources, information about safe sleep practices, and the services available to families to help children remain safely at home, when possible.

The Department of Social Services 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.

The mission of the Department of Social Services is to empower Missourians to live safe, healthy, and productive lives.


Media Contact

Heather Dolce