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Effort to increase funding for network of sex abuse experts in MO

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A St. Louis lawmaker hopes to increase state funding for the Safe Care Network, which consists of doctors who are experts in spotting child sexual abuse.

State Rep. Rachel Storch (D-St. Louis) will sponsor an amendment to next year's state budget to raise the funding amount for the program from $100,000 to $600,000.

"There are several doctors at St. Louis Cardinal-Glennon Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital, and Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City who have very specialized training," noted Storch, who added the extra funding would allow for more doctors and nurse practicioners to be trained to recognize and treat kids who've been sexually abused.

If approved, the budget amendment would also allow the doctors to be reimbursed by the state for time spent working with police or testifying in court.