More calls to Missouri’s Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline are reporting neglect than any other complaints. Children’s Division Director Tim Decker says thousands of such calls are received each year.
“About 60% of our calls to the hotline are allegations of neglect. Then there’s a percentage of calls that come in around physical and sexual abuse,” said Decker.
He said a growing number of children are in foster care because their parents are dealing with substance abuse.
“When parents are using substances, it can create not only neglectful but also harmful situations for children,” said Decker. “Babies and young children are especially vulnerable but all populations can be vulnerable in their own way. Some of the challenges we’ve had in our communities around substances abuse begin to cause challenges for the child welfare system.
About 13,000 children are in Missouri’s foster care system with less than 6,000 foster families serving them.