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missouri department of social services

Child Abuse Hotline Calls Drop As Pandemic Isolation Weakens Safety Net

20 hours ago
Sign on the Grandview Schools campus.
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

The Missouri Department of Social Services has reported an alarming drop in calls to the child abuse hotline. 

In mid-March, calls plummeted about 50%.

Typically, the department gets around 650 reports of child abuse per weekday, DSS Children’s Division Deputy Director Sara Smith said. That number has dwindled to 335. DSS attributes children's social isolation away from mandatory reporters — educators and child care providers — to the drop in calls.

Missouri Director Still Overpaid Despite Pledge To Stop

Mar 12, 2018

Missouri's Department of Social Services director still is being overpaid despite his promises to stop the practice.

Missouri has agreed to pay $21 million to blind state residents who were underpaid from a fund set up to provide a safety net.

The state has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed in 2006 by the Missouri Council of the Blind, which contended that the Missouri Department of Social Services and the Family Support Division miscalculated the amount of monthly payments it sent to blind state residents. The settlement includes $11.4 million toward the underpayments and $9.5 million for interest on those underpayments, Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Thursday.

Missouri Considers Work Requirement for People on Food Stamps

Feb 5, 2018

Some state lawmakers want to impose a work requirement on able-bodied Missouri residents receiving food stamps as a prerequisite for them obtaining those benefits.

The Missouri Department of Social Services currently applies to the federal government for a waiver to exempt Missouri residents from having to prove they’re working in order to receive support from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. While federal law calls for such a requirement, each state can decide on a case-by-case basis if they impose that regulation. State Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St.Peters, is proposing the state no longer apply for that waiver and begin to enact the federally mandated work requirement on Missouri residents.

Missouri officials say the state Children's Division has received more than 1,000 reports of juveniles with sexual behavior problems since late August.

Secretary of State's Office / State of Missouri

  The Missouri Department of Social Services will use a new grant to provide low-income Missourians new job opportunities.

401 (K) 2013 / FLICKR

  A new report shows a Missouri agency doesn't plan to recover what an audit described as about $1.5 million in overpayments for an early childhood development program.

images_of_money / flickr

  A new audit claims Missouri owes the federal government $34 million for not complying with Medicaid regulations.

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services audit set for release Tuesday shows Missouri didn't bill drug manufacturers for rebates.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that meant drug companies kept more money while there was less for Medicaid recipients.

The Missouri Department of Social Services oversees the program and says it disagrees with the audit.

A department spokeswoman says the amount owed is closer to $7 million.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a budget plan that its chairman says will constrain the state's fastest-growing costs. 

Andy Lamb / Flickr

Hepatitis C is a virus that affects the liver, often causing liver cancer or cirrhosis. Although they share a name, it is completely different from hepatitis A or B so current hepatitis vaccines don’t guard against hep C.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 3.2 million people in the United States have hepatitis C. But Bruce Burkett, Founder and Director of the Hep C Alliance, said the disease often goes untreated simply because people don’t know they are infected.


Shardayyy / Flickr


  An audit finds Missouri overpaid for some Early Head Start programs that were serving fewer children than agreed to in a state contract and was billed twice for some home visit programs.

Auditor Tom Schweich's (shwykz) report on Tuesday gives the lowest possible rating to a state fund designated for early childhood programs. It cites lax controls and inefficient use of the money.

The audit says the Department of Social Services overpaid $1.5 million for Early Head Start programs that served fewer children than stipulated in their state contracts for most of the year.

401K 2013 / Flickr

Low-income Missourians now can apply for help to pay their heating bills.

Missouri home care attendants demand higher wages

Sep 9, 2014
Rosemary / Flickr

The Missouri Home Care Union has quite the battle ahead of it. Union members are requesting wages for home care attendants be raised to $11 an hour.  Attendants are responsible for assisting elderly individuals and people with physical disabilities.

missouri capitol
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has confirmed a longtime employee of the Missouri Department of Social Services to be the agency's new director.

A longtime employee of the Missouri Department of Social Services has been appointed as its new director.

images_of_money / flickr

Missouri has a backlog of about 22,000 parents and children waiting to learn whether they will be covered by Medicaid.

Tax Credits / Flickr

Missouri has received the names of more than 25,000 people determined to be potentially eligible for Medicaid through the federal government's online insurance marketplace.

But none of those people have been added to Missouri's Medicaid program yet.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the data from the federal government is not in a format that can easily be used by Missouri's Medicaid officials.

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing to spend $37.1 million to boost wages for state government workers.

Selbe B / flickr

An official with the Missouri Department of Social Services briefed a House Interim Committee Monday on Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposed rule change to cut able-bodied adults without children from the food stamp program if they don’t have a job.  

Mo. households to face drop in SNAP benefits

Oct 10, 2013
Selbe B / flickr

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP and formerly known as food stamps, will have its benefits reduced for every household across the nation for the first time in the program’s history Nov. 1.

Missouri seeks to tighten food stamp eligibility

Oct 9, 2013
Selbe B / flickr

Missouri is considering tightening food-stamp eligibility for thousands of adults.

Marshall Griffin- / St. Louis Public Radio

Two days of hearings are underway by an interim House committee looking into how well state agencies in Missouri are delivering services to their clients.

The hearings began with a critique of the Missouri Department of Social Services.  Dan Amsden with the group Spending Oversight Council testified that DSS officials are doing a poor job of preventing non-eligible people from receiving welfare benefits, and of tracking those who no longer need them.

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) has created another interim committee, this time to examine how well state agencies respond to citizens who use their services.

The management of an early childhood fund by the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) has received a "poor" rating in a state audit released Monday.

State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) said the Early Childhood Development, Education and Care Fund provided more than $170,000 to three child care facilities that failed to open or expand their facilities as planned.

Photo courtesy of the Missouri Auditor's Office

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is questioning millions of dollars of welfare payments made to low-income residents.

A joint newspaper investigation shows the Missouri Department of Social Services' practice of releasing information after the deaths or near deaths of children has come to an abrupt, unexplained halt.

After high-profile tragedies a decade ago, the state system charged with protecting children began releasing records previously closed to the public.

But the Springfield News-Leader and The Kansas City Star reported that the openness ended in June after a 10-year-old girl was freed from a Kansas City closet weighing 32 pounds.

St. Louis Integrated Health Network

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed a veteran executive of health care systems as director of the Department of Social Services. Alan Freeman is president and CEO of Grace Hill Health Centers, which operates five health care centers and a community health program in St. Louis.


A Missouri Senate committee has approved a budget plan that cuts funding for social services but not education.


Community leaders hosted a statewide video conference Saturday to discuss the impact of the ongoing cuts and consolidations to Missouri’s social services.