Skip to Content

Committee on child abuse meets at the state capitol

One state agency went before lawmakers Tuesday to discuss its role in Missouri and its future.

The Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect held an informal hearing with representatives from the Juvenile Justice Center.

Missouri is the only state that uses a juvenile officer system and it has actually been that way since 1957.

“This is an ongoing effort by the committee to determine what we’re doing right in the state of Missouri and what we’re not doing so well,” said Representative Bill Lant.

Most states have two departments that regulate child services. Missouri has three.

“Missouri is unique in that we don’t just have a child welfare system that stands alone and we don’t have a juvenile justice system that stands alone. Missouri has a unique component called the juvenile office,” said Tammy Walden, Chief Juvenile Officer.

Based on investigations done by the children’s division, juvenile officers oversee legal actions in child abuse and neglect cases.

Legal actions can be anything from coordinating a foster home to removing a child from the custody of parents.

Each case is unique and the state sees almost 16,000 of them a year.

Because of this, a system of checks and balances is a huge help.

“It’s always nice to have another set of eyes, especially when you’re talking about something so serious as removing children from the custody of their parents,” said Walden.

Other states have just recently taken a closer look into Missouri’s method.

The next step according to lawmakers is to implement consistent rules and procedures for all the offices across the state.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

ABC 17 News Team


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content