Section 2, Chapter 3 (County Protocol: Review and Assignment of Reports), Subsection 1 – Child Abuse/Neglect Concerns at the County Office

(Effective 04/15/19)

Table of Contents

3.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Concerns Received at the County Office

3.1.1 Procedure for “Field Reports”


3.1 Child Abuse/Neglect Concerns Received at the County Office

The county office may occasionally receive hotline reports directly by phone, letters, or walk-ins.  When this occurs, staff shall interview the reporter and collect enough information to determine if the allegations might be categorized as the following:

  • A Child Abuse/Neglect Report
  • A Non-CA/N Referral

Staff should encourage the reporter to contact CANHU; however, pursuant to Section 210.115, RSMo., staff must also report the concerns to CANHU when they have reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect as a result of the concerns reported to them.

3.1.1 Procedure for “Field Reports”

Field Reports are reports made to CANHU by Children’s Division staff after initial contact with the family or the victim has already been made.  Many situations arise which require staff to initiate contact with a family or victim prior to a call being made to CANHU.  Examples may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Walk-in office visit from non-custodial/non-perpetrating parent asking for help for their abused child;
  • Worker observes an injury to the child at the office and must initiate protocol to assure safety;
  • Worker discovers concerns of abuse or neglect involving non-household members during the course of an open Investigation, Family Assessment, or Juvenile Assessment.

NOTE: The Children’s Division does not have the legal authority to investigate concerns of child abuse or neglect without a hotline report. Staff are not required to respond on-scene unless a hotline report has been made or emergency protective custody was taken and a CS-33 signed. Mandated reporters are required by law to immediately report all abuse or neglect to CANHU.

When staff are required to make a report of suspected child abuse/neglect and initial contact has been made and safety assured as per policy, they will:

  1. Contact CANHU, to make a Field Report;
  2. Inform CANHU of the report date/time of the initial contact/notification;
  3. CANHU will adhere to protocol to screen and classify the information according to CAN report criteria, response priority, and track assignment;
  4. Information given to CANHU will not be accepted automatically as a CA/N report/referral.
  5. CANHU will use report date/time of the initial contact/notification given by the field staff.

NOTE: Staff are strongly encouraged to use the Online System for Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting (OSCR) to make field reports.  OSCR users who have selected the occupation of ‘Children’s Division Worker’ on their Account Profile will be given the option to make a field report on the Initial Intake screen.  As a state employee setting up an OSCR account, staff must use their user ID: for the email address and their computer logon password.