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Mandated Reporters

Mandated Reporters

According to Missouri law, if any person responsible for the care of children has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect, or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect, that person is to immediately report their concerns to the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division. By virtue of their roles, Girl Scout troop volunteers are considered to be mandated reporters.

As mandated reporters, troop volunteers act as the voice for children who may be experiencing abuse or neglect. When volunteers report a concern, they are not making an accusation, they are requesting a professional service to intervene. All information reported to the Children’s Division, including the identity of the reporter, is kept confidential. Even if a volunteer is not completely sure if abuse or neglect is occurring, they should report their concerns anyway—always err on the side of the child.

While we hope that troop volunteers will never encounter situations of child abuse or neglect, they must be prepared to take on that responsibility. To that end, troop volunteers are strongly encouraged to complete the online mandated reporter training sponsored by Missouri KidsFirst. Note that learners must register with Missouri KidsFirst before accessing the course on their website. Course topics include:

  • Signs of child abuse and neglect
  • Responsibilities of a mandated reporter in Missouri
  • How to respond to disclosures of abuse or neglect without re-traumatizing the child
  • Detailed instruction for reporting child abuse or neglect to the Children’s Division

The link to this training may also be found in the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Mandated Reporter Training course in gsLearn. If you would like your mandated reporter training to be tracked in gsLearn, we recommend you access the link through the gsLearn course.


To report abuse or neglect concerns to the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division, call the 24-hour Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect hotline at 800.392.3738 or use the online reporting system for non-emergencies.


If a girl is in immediate danger, call 911. Mandated reporters may also contact the local police department, but doing so does not relieve them of the legal obligation to report their concern to the Children’s Division.

To receive additional support when reporting potential abuse or neglect, please contact your Community Engagement Manager or Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Risk Management at 314.592.2300.

Further information about reporting child abuse and neglect may be found in Volunteer Essentials, under the topics Engaging Girls & Families / When Sensitive Topics Come Up.

More information about the responsibilities of mandated reporters may be found in the Missouri Children’s Division Guidelines for Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect.