Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 210
Child Protection and Reformation
Section 210.110

August 28, 2013


Definitions.

210.110. As used in sections 210.109 to 210.165, and sections 210.180 to 210.183, the following terms mean:

(1) "Abuse", 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;

(2) "Assessment and treatment services for children under ten years old", an approach to be developed by the children's division which will recognize and treat the specific needs of at-risk and abused or neglected children under the age of ten. The developmental and medical assessment may be a broad physical, developmental, and mental health screening to be completed within thirty days of a child's entry into custody and every six months thereafter as long as the child remains in care. Screenings may be offered at a centralized location and include, at a minimum, the following:

(a) Complete physical to be performed by a pediatrician familiar with the effects of abuse and neglect on young children;

(b) Developmental, behavioral, and emotional screening in addition to early periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment services, including a core set of standardized and recognized instruments as well as interviews with the child and appropriate caregivers. The screening battery may be performed by a licensed mental health professional familiar with the effects of abuse and neglect on young children, who will then serve as the liaison between all service providers in ensuring that needed services are provided. Such treatment services may include in-home services, out-of-home placement, intensive twenty-four-hour treatment services, family counseling, parenting training and other best practices.

Children whose screenings indicate an area of concern may complete a comprehensive, in-depth health, psychodiagnostic, or developmental assessment within sixty days of entry into custody;

(3) "Central registry", a registry of persons where the division has found probable cause to believe prior to August 28, 2004, or by a preponderance of the evidence after August 28, 2004, or a court has substantiated through court adjudication that the individual has committed child abuse or neglect or the person has pled guilty or has been found guilty of a crime pursuant to section 565.020, 565.021, 565.023, 565.024 or 565.050 if the victim is a child less than eighteen years of age, section 566.030 or 566.060 if the victim is a child less than eighteen years of age, or other crime pursuant to chapter 566 if the victim is a child less than eighteen years of age and the perpetrator is twenty-one years of age or older, section 567.050 if the victim is a child less than eighteen years of age, section 568.020, 568.030, 568.045, 568.050, 568.060, 568.080, or 568.090, section 573.025 or 573.035, or an attempt to commit any such crimes. Any persons placed on the registry prior to August 28, 2004, shall remain on the registry for the duration of time required by section 210.152;

(4) "Child", any person, regardless of physical or mental condition, under eighteen years of age;

(5) "Children's services providers and agencies", any public, quasi-public, or private entity with the appropriate and relevant training and expertise in delivering services to children and their families as determined by the children's division, and capable of providing direct services and other family services for children in the custody of the children's division or any such entities or agencies that are receiving state moneys for such services;

(6) "Director", the director of the Missouri children's division within the department of social services;

(7) "Division", the Missouri children's division within the department of social services;

(8) "Family assessment and services", an approach to be developed by the children's division which will provide for a prompt assessment of a child who has been reported to the division as a victim of abuse or neglect by a person responsible for that child's care, custody or control and of that child's family, including risk of abuse and neglect and, if necessary, the provision of community-based services to reduce the risk and support the family;

(9) "Family support team meeting" or "team meeting", a meeting convened by the division or children's services provider in behalf of the family and/or child for the purpose of determining service and treatment needs, determining the need for placement and developing a plan for reunification or other permanency options, determining the appropriate placement of the child, evaluating case progress, and establishing and revising the case plan;

(10) "Investigation", the collection of physical and verbal evidence to determine if a child has been abused or neglected;

(11) "Jail or detention center personnel", employees and volunteers working in any premises or institution where incarceration, evaluation, care, treatment or rehabilitation is provided to persons who are being held under custody of the law;

(12) "Neglect", failure to provide, by those responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child, the proper or necessary support, education as required by law, nutrition or medical, surgical, or any other care necessary for the child's well-being;

(13) "Preponderance of the evidence", that degree of evidence that is of greater weight or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it or evidence which as a whole shows the fact to be proved to be more probable than not;

(14) "Probable cause", available facts when viewed in the light of surrounding circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe a child was abused or neglected;

(15) "Report", the communication of an allegation of child abuse or neglect to the division pursuant to section 210.115;

(16) "Those responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child", those included but not limited to the parents or guardian of a 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 relationship to the parents of the child, members of the child's household or the family, has access to the child.

(L. 1975 H.B. 578 1, A.L. 1982 H.B. 1171, et al., A.L. 1985 H.B. 366, et al., A.L. 1994 S.B. 595, A.L. 2000 S.B. 757 & 602, A.L. 2004 H.B. 1453, A.L. 2005 H.B. 568)

(2007) Provisions of this section requiring inclusion in the central registry before a finding of abuse or neglect by a preponderance of the evidence by the child Abuse and Neglect Review Board violate due process, and are invalid. Jamison v. State, 218 S.W.3d 399 (Mo.banc).


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