The Mission of the Juvenile Section is child protection achieved
through the investigation of physical and sex abuse crimes committed against children.
Who we are:
The Juvenile Section is comprised of individuals that are dedicated to the very challenging job of investigating crimes against children. A case file is more than a set of police reports, medical and children division records. Each case file involves a child that has reported or been reported to be a victim of crime. It is the responsibility of the detective to ensure a complete and thorough investigation is conducted so when appropriate the case file can be presented to a prosecutor for consideration of charges.
What we investigate:
The Juvenile Section is responsible for investigating sexual and physical abuse involving child victims. This includes child endangerment, child abandonment, parental kidnapping, interference of custody and missing/runaway juveniles.
Resources for help:
It is important to realize a child can be the most vulnerable victim due to the relationship they potentially could have with the suspect. Often times the suspect is related to the victim and/or is in a position of power over the child. Because of this we all must do our part to protect the children in our community. Below is some useful information.
What is a child abuse and neglect?
According to the Missouri Legislature the following definitions apply to abuse and neglect:
Any physical injury, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse inflicted on a child other than by accidental means by those responsible for the child’s care, custody, and control; except that discipline including spanking, administered in a reasonable manner, shall not be construed to be abuse.
The failure to provide the child the proper or necessary support, education as required by law, nutrition, medical, surgical, or care necessary for the child’s well-being by those responsible for their care, custody, and control. Those responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child include, but are not limited to, the parents or guardian of the child, other members of the child’s household, or those exercising supervision over a child for any part of a twenty-four hour day. Those responsible for the care, custody, and control shall also include any adult who, based on their relationship to the parents of the child of the child, members of the child’s household or family, has access to the child.
Source: 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County, MO.
Recognizing child abuse:
Know the signs of child abuse and neglect. The following signs may signal the presence of child abuse or neglect.
- Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance
- Has not received help for physical or medical problems brought to the parents’ attention
- Has learning problems (or difficulty concentrating) that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes
- Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen
- Lacks adult supervision
- Is overly compliant, passive, or withdrawn
- Comes to school or other activities early, stays late, and does not want to go home
- Shows little concern for the child
- Denies the existence of—or blames the child for—the child’s problems in school or at home
- Asks teachers or other caregivers to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves
- Sees the child as entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome
- Demands a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve
- Looks primarily to the child for care, attention, and satisfaction of emotional needs
The Parent and Child:
- Rarely touch or look at each other
- Consider their relationship entirely negative
- State that they do not like each other
The presence of a single sign does not prove child abuse is occurring, but when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination, it might be time to reach out to authorities for support. Always report suspected child abuse to local child protection services or law enforcement.
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway
What to do if your child tells you they've been sexually abused.
- The most important thing is to believe them!
- Support the child by listening and staying calm. Your calmness will reassure the child that they can also be OK and that they have not done anything wrong.
- Reassure the child that what has happened is not his or her fault.
- Helpful Responses:
“I am glad you told me, thank you.”
“You are very brave and did the right thing.”
“I am sorry this happened to you and I wasn’t there to stop it.”
“It wasn’t your fault.”
“I am proud of you for telling me.”
“I need to make a report to people who can help us. I am going to do everything I can to keep you safe.”
- Report the abuse immediately.
Missouri Abuse Hotline: 1-800-392-3738. Visit the website for more information.
Kansas Abuse Hotline: 1-800-922-5330. Visit the website for more information.
- Call MOCSA for guidance: 816-531-0233 or 913-642-0233. We are available 24-hours/day and can provide support and direction as you begin to navigate this difficult terrain.
- Seek counseling for you and your child. MOCSA is here to help parents and caretakers deal with their own feelings about the abuse so that they are able to effectively support their children.
How can I support my child?
All children respond differently to sexual abuse. Some seem to rebound more quickly than others. The most crucial thing every child needs is to be believed.
- Do allow your child to lead the discussion.
- Do answer questions to the best of your ability.
- Do help your child maintain their normal routine. Routine helps children feel safe and settle anxiety.
- Do your best to manage your own emotions around the child. Your reactions could make the child feel guilty for upsetting you.
- Do allow the criminal justice system to work.
- Don’t ask probing questions.
- Don’t respond negatively to the abuse or ask blaming questions like “Why didn’t you try to stop it?”
- Don’t try to sweep the abuse under the rug; deal with the disclosure. Support the child, report the incident, and get them the help they need.
- Don’t threaten to harm the abuser.
|TO CONTACT US||816-234-5150|
|CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE||INSTATE 1-800-392-3738|
|CHILD PROTECTION CENTER||816-778-8000|
|CASS COUNTY 816-322-3842||JACKSON COUNTY 816-889-200|
|CLAY COUNTY 816-407-9931||PLATTE COUNTY 816-325-1175|
|CHILDREN'S MERCY HOSPITAL||816-234-3000|
|CASS COUNTY 816-380-8475||JACKSON COUNTY 816-474-3606|
|CLAY COUNTY 816-736-8400||PLATTE COUNTY 816-858-3420|
|SAFEHAVEN||2-1-1 OR 1-866-320-5764|
|SYNERGY HOUSE||816-741-8700 OR 1-888-233-1639|
|CHILD ADVOCACY CENTER||816-505-4867|
|NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN||1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)|