All child care professionals are mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. To reqport child abuse or neglect, please contact one of these hotlines, which are both staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- In Missouri, call 1-800-392-3738 or visit the Missouri Department of Social Services' website
- In Kansas, call 1-800-922-5330 or visit the Kansas Department for Children and Families website
For more information on child abuse prevention, visit these Web sites:
- Prevent Child Abuse America
- Missouri Children’s Division
- Children’s Trust Fund of Missouri
- Missouri KidsFirst
Recognizing Child Abuse
The first step in helping abused or neglected children is learning to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect. The presence of a single sign does not prove child abuse is occurring in a family, but a closer look at the situation may be warranted when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination.
If you do suspect a child is being harmed, reporting your suspicions may protect the child and get help for the family. Any concerned person can report suspicions of child abuse and neglect. In Kansas, call 1.800.922.5330. In Missouri, call 1.800.392.3738.
The following signs may signal the presence of child abuse or neglect.
- Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance
- Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents' attention
- Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
- Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen
- Lacks adult supervision
- Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn
- Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home
- Shows little concern for the child
- Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child's problems in school or at home
- Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves
- Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome
- Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve
- Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs
The Parent and Child:
- Rarely touch or look at each other
- Consider their relationship entirely negative
- State that they do not like each other
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway