Keeping Children Safe
What Happens After A Hotline Call is Made?
What happens after you make a report of child abuse to Children's Division?

Knowing the facts empowers you to take action to protect the children in your life.
Signs of Safety
When a report comes into the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, Children’s Division utilizes Signs of Safety when screening calls. To learn more about Signs of Safety, please visit

Regardless of the whether an investigation occurs, all reports are documented and are an important part of their process.
After you make a report
Reporting child abuse can feel risky. You are taking action without knowing what the outcome will be for a child. 

After you report, please do not investigate further. Further questioning of a child may be re-traumatizing.

You can continue to advocate and support a child by:
  • reporting new concerns to the hotline,
  • giving extra time and attention to the child, and
  • allowing time for the process to work. 
What's the time frame for a Children's Division response to a hotline call?
Upon receiving a report of child abuse/neglect, the information is forwarded to the county where the child resides or will be in the next 24 hours.
The Children’s Division worker will begin seeing the child(ren) within the response time frame required by the Children's Division's guidelines.
For a report of abuse or neglect to be substantiated it must be classified as an investigation. An investigation is a response when there is an identified need to collect evidence to determine if a child has been abused or neglected and to decide whether an individual should be listed in the Central Registry.

Half of the reports made to CD are classified as Family Assessments. A family assessment is a response to a report of child abuse or neglect that focuses on working with the child and the child’s family to identify factors that may place the child at risk of future abuse and neglect, and to offer voluntary, community based services to reduce the risk and support the family.

Want to learn more?
Check out Children's Division "FAQ for Child Abuse Investigations"

Did you know?
Mandated reporters are entitled to the findings of the report.
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