Child protection system established by children’s division, duties, records, investigations or assessments and services — central registry maintained. — 1. The children’s division shall establish a child protection system for the entire state.
2. The child protection system shall promote the safety of children and the integrity and preservation of their families by conducting investigations or family assessments and providing services in response to reports of child abuse or neglect. The system shall coordinate community resources and provide assistance or services to children and families identified to be at risk, and to prevent and remedy child abuse and neglect.
3. In addition to any duties specified in section 210.145, in implementing the child protection system, the division shall:
(1) Maintain a central registry;
(2) Receive reports and establish and maintain an information system operating at all times, capable of receiving and maintaining reports;
(3) Attempt to obtain the name and address of any person making a report in all cases, after obtaining relevant information regarding the alleged abuse or neglect, although reports may be made anonymously; except that, reports by mandatory reporters under section 210.115, including employees of the children’s division, juvenile officers, and school personnel shall not be made anonymously, provided that the reporter shall be informed, at the time of the report, that the reporter’s name and any other personally identifiable information shall be held as confidential and shall not be made public as provided under this section and section 211.319;
(4) Upon receipt of a report, check with the information system to determine whether previous reports have been made regarding actual or suspected abuse or neglect of the subject child, of any siblings, and the perpetrator, and relevant dispositional information regarding such previous reports;
(5) Provide protective or preventive services to the family and child and to others in the home to prevent abuse or neglect, to safeguard their health and welfare, and to help preserve and stabilize the family whenever possible. The juvenile court shall cooperate with the division in providing such services;
(6) Collaborate with the community to identify comprehensive local services and assure access to those services for children and families where there is risk of abuse or neglect;
(7) Maintain a record which contains the facts ascertained which support the determination as well as the facts that do not support the determination;
(8) Whenever available and appropriate, contract for the provision of children’s services through children’s services providers and agencies in the community; except that the state shall be the sole provider of child abuse and neglect hotline services, the initial child abuse and neglect investigation, and the initial family assessment. The division shall attempt to seek input from child welfare service providers in completing the initial family assessment. In all legal proceedings involving children in the custody of the division, the division shall be represented in court by either division personnel or persons with whom the division contracts with for such legal representation. All children’s services providers and agencies shall be subject to criminal background checks pursuant to chapter 43 and shall submit names of all employees to the family care safety registry.
As used in this subsection, “report” includes any telephone call made pursuant to section 210.145.
(L. 1994 S.B. 595, A.L. 1995 H.B. 232 & 485 merged with S.B. 174, A.L. 1997 H.B. 343 merged with S.B. 358, A.L. 1998 H.B. 1556 merged with S.B. 961, A.L. 2000 S.B. 757 & 602, A.L. 2004 H.B. 1453)
Application of law to adoption petitions filed on or after August 28, 1997, 453.012
(2005) Failure by state social workers to comply with mandatory state-created procedures in section does not constitute a procedural or substantive due process violation protected under the Fourteenth Amendment. Forrester v. Bass, 397 F.3d 1047 (8th Cir.).