Youth-on-youth abuse hotline calls spike after Missouri law
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri law that protects children from abuse by other children has spurred hundreds of hotline calls since it was enacted in August.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the law mandates the Children's Division to perform family assessments when it receives child abuse hotline calls alleging inappropriate sexual behavior perpetrated by children on other children.
Beforehand, the state was only mandated to investigate allegations of child abuse involving people caring for the child. This ruled out state intervention in most complaints against minors.
Statistics provided by the agency show the state has received about 325 calls per month, more than six times the number officials anticipated.
A spokesman with the Missouri Department of Social Services says a state caseworker has responded to every hotline call deemed a concern despite the high number of calls.