The head of Missouri’s child welfare system knows a thing or two about growing up in a loving but turbulent home in Jefferson County.

Missouri Children’s Division Director Darrell Missey

Darrell Missey, the director of Missouri’s Children’s Division, said his dad was “salt of the Earth” and his mom, who wanted to be teacher, struggled with mental illness.

His mother read to them each night. She had a constant presence in her family’s life. Then the darkest moment in Missey’s childhood happened – his mother was sent away to receive treatment. His family structure changed for a while.

Missey said he kept his childhood in mind while he was a lawyer, a judge for 19 years, and now as he helps the children in the state’s care.

In this Show Me Today interview, Missey talks about his childhood and how he got to where he’s at today. He also explains his mission to build a proactive system that helps families “hold it together” instead of reactively breaking them apart.

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Part 2:

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