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To call the Child
Abuse and
Neglect Hotline
in Missouri
800-392-3738
To call the Child
Abuse and
Neglect Hotline
From an out-of-
state phone number:
573-751-3448
Mailing address for OCA:
P.O. Box 809
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Investigation Process

To begin an investigation, print out and fill out the complaint form and return it to our office (see address at bottom of page) or call our toll free number. The Office of Child Advocate is not an emergency intervention service. If you are calling about a case in need of immediate action, call the Missouri Child Abuse Hotline number 1-800-392-3738, call 911 or call your local law enforcement agency.

When your complaint is received, it will be reviewed by the Office of Child Advocate to determine if an investigation will be conducted.

We will take further action if your complaint meets these criteria:

  • The alleged act or failure to act did occur.
  • It violated law, policy or procedure. Or – it was clearly unreasonable.
  • It was harmful to a child’s safety, health, well-being, or right to a permanent family.
  • Or – it was harmful to appropriate family preservation, contact, or reunification.

If your complaint does not meet these criteria, we will refer you to an agency that can help.

Review of Unsubstantiated Child Abuse Hotline Calls

Missouri Statute RSMo 210.145.15 provides for reporters of unsubstantiated child abuse hotline calls to request through their local Children’s Division office that the reports be referred to the Office of Child Advocate. The referral will be reviewed by the Child Advocate and follow-up letters will be sent to the reporter and to the Children’s Division. This process applies only to hotline reports that are coded as investigations and does not apply to hotline calls that are coded as assessments.