Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline calls reach pre-pandemic rate

After schools closed in the spring to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline calls quickly fell by about 50%. The dramatic shift was identified nationwide – not just in Missouri. Mandated reporters, at schools, daycares, and churches, were not seeing kids in person like they normally do because many of these places were closed.

Since Missouri K-12 schools began classes again in August, the number of calls to the 24/7 hotline has been growing. Although some students are learning from home, many kids are back to in-seat schooling.

State data shows about 2,200 calls were made to the hotline last week. For comparison, there were about 1,100 calls the week of March 22.

The state, along with the Missouri School Boards’ Association, have created a new video to heighten educator awareness of the increased importance of reporting child abuse and neglect. The “See Something. Say Something.” video highlights the online reporting option, important information, tips, and resources.

Anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect can call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-392-3738. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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