On Friday morning, April 6, 2018, Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell provided training to Taneyville School’s educators and staff, along with Chief Assistant Prosecutor Chris Lebeck, on the topic of Mandated Child Abuse Reporting Laws. This morning’s presentation was one of a series of trainings on this topic Merrell and Lebeck have made to Taney County school district professionals.

“This is a very important issue, and an area of Missouri law where much mis-information has been disseminated to educators,” says Merrell. “Through our series of contacts with local schools, our office is making an effort to clarify the legal responsibilities of all school employees. Proper reporting of suspected abuse and neglect is critical to the protection of our children.”

The training is designed to educate school professionals on their statutorily mandated duty 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.

This training was put together by the Taney County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office as a result of a recent appointment as special prosecuting attorney in a case involving school officials in another county and allegations surrounding a failure to report suspected child abuse.

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.