SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Every April, child advocates work to raise awareness about child abuse. That mission is even more important amid the pandemic.
According to the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division, more than 56,000 cases of child abuse and neglect were reported across the state of Missouri in 2020, involving more than 78,000 children.
Mike Duggar, CEO of Lutheran Family and Children Services, said the organization also felt the impact from the increased numbers. LFCS reported a 91% increase in overall calls for help in 2020.
“Overall, our calls for services were almost double what they were in the previous year,” Duggar said.
LFCS offers several programs to support at-risk Missouri children and families, including behavioral health services, parenting courses and resources, foster care, adoption, and wraparound education services for the whole family through Hilltop Child Development Center.
You can also help raise awareness of child abuse during the month of April.
Advocates across the state will wear blue on Fridays. Post a picture of you in blue and tag @LFCSMO and use #saferstrongertogether.