McCaskill Says Child Abuse Hotline Not Fixed
By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Louis – Missouri State Auditor Claire McCaskill says those running the state's child abuse hotline are not responding adequately to calls.
McCaskill released a follow-up report Thursday on the Department of Social Services.
McCaskill says DSS has improved in several areas after a 2000 audit. But she says the hotline remains the agency's biggest failure.
"Too often, the dead children, when you look in their files, there have been multiple hotline calls," McCaskill said. "And that is the biggest indictment of this system-is when we have had the opportunity to save a life, and we have failed."
The auditor says the low number of caseworkers is part of the problem.
A DSS spokesman says the agency has implemented a new classification system that gives priority to reports of the most severe abuse.