Taney County Prosecuting Attorney, Jeff Merrell presented mandated reporter training to teachers and professionals of the Forsyth School District this morning at the Forsyth Performing Arts Center.  The training is designed to educate school professionals on their obligations to report suspected child abuse and neglect, and the training covered why reporting suspected child abuse is important, the warning signs, and the nuts and bolts of when and how to hotline. An estimated 683,000 school age children are known victims of abuse each year, and 1 in 4 females and 1 in 6 males will experience some form of sexual abuse before their 18th birthday.

This was the first in a series of upcoming trainings of school professionals in Taney County by the Taney County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. In March, Merrell will be presenting to the professionals at the Kirbyville School District.

If you have reasonable cause to believe a child has been the victim of physical or sexual abuse, or neglect contact the Missouri Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline Unit (CANHU) on their toll-free at 1-800-392-3738 or visit the online reporting portal at https://apps.dss.mo.gov/OnlineCanReporting/default.aspx.