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Child care workers attend town hall meeting on child abuse and n - KOAM TV 7

Child care workers attend town hall meeting on child abuse and neglect

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Missouri lawmakers hold a town hall meeting to discuss the issue of child abuse and neglect. The meeting was open to anyone with concerns about current legislation in regards to abuse.

 

State representatives wanted to hold this meeting to hear from citizens and their questions and concerns surrounding child abuse. Many people attended the meeting and the most vocal were the ones who work with children first hand - including babysitters, educators and daycare workers

Mary Lallemend, who owns Wee Tot's daycare says "it's tough for them to do babysitting on the side because a lot of parents want to know if  you're licensed. You've got to be pretty trustworthy. You've got to check references and everything else. Because you just don't know."

No subject was off limits at the meeting. Attendees spoke on recent legislation in regards to employees of school districts, pre-schools and daycare's being required to report any suspected abuse.

District 162 Representative Charlie Davis said "we have to determine did we really see an increase because there's an increase? Or is it because the media is so available now?"

District 159 Representative Bill Lant says "I think a lot of our problem is that we've had a huge turnover of caseworkers so we don't always have the best information in the field."

Lallemend says as a license child care facility, they have strict rules that must be adhered to.

"We have some foster children that we've picked up on some things. The foster parents are wonderful, but it's what they have gotten from the child coming to them. But they really have overcome a lot of this being with their foster parents." she says.

Lant and Davis are not looking to make new laws...rather, look for suggestions on how to improve them.

"At the end of the year we need to make a report to the house and to the senate over our activity over the year and what recommendations we have." Lant says.

But Lallemend  acknowledges that--kids will be kids - and accidents can always happen.

"Marks and bruises doesn't always mean that they're abused. Children are children. They're gonna fall." she says.

Anyone who suspects any type of abuse is always urged to report it to local authorities.. Or call the child abuse hotline.. 1-800-4-a-child.

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