Adult abuse and neglect hotline adds online reporting system

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JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) adult abuse and neglect hotline system is now available online. This is in addition to the existing phone hotline that allows those looking to report non-emergency adult abuse, neglect and/or financial exploitation.

The department was criticized from the mid-Missouri community for its lack of response to calls through the hotline.  

In a study conducted in May, The Columbia Missourian and KBIA reported that only 50 percent of calls were answered.

As a response to this study, the Missouri Attorney General’s office partnered with DHSS to remedy this issue.

In a press release from the Attorney General’s office, Attorney General Eric Schmitt said that the community should see improvements to the call system.

“I’m very pleased with the progress that DHSS has made in improving the elder abuse hotline, and I’m thankful for the unprecedented level of cooperation they’ve offered,” said Attorney General Schmitt.

DHSS wanted to get better and, as a means of doing so, it took the hotline to the internet.

The Director of the Division of Health and Senior Services Jessica Bax said before incorporating the online system, the department had to address internal issues regarding response rates.

“As of today, November to date, we’re answering 77 percent of the calls that come in,” Bax said.

She said this added efficiency will help support the online system.

The administrator at Colony Pointe Senior Living Amy Byergo said she sees an advantage to using the online system at her center.

“Now we can just go in and enter our data and then have somebody call us back when it’s time,” said Byergo.

The online reporting system is available 24 hours a day.  The phone hotline is available from 7 a.m. to midnight.

 

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