Child Abuse and Neglect: A Closer Look

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. At Lutheran Family and Children’s Services (LFCS), we believe that every child is precious and deserves a life of health and happiness. The services we provide are designed to decrease the risk of abuse and neglect, and provide kids throughout Missouri with safety, stability, and permanency.

  • According to the Missouri Department of Social Services, there were over 58,000 reported incidents of child abuse and neglect in Missouri in 2022.
  • Of the over 58,000 reported incidents,  over 77,000 children from every socio-economic background, ethnicity, religion, and gender were involved.
  • Last year, child abuse and neglect was responsible for the death of 49 children in Missouri.

While these statistics show just how many kids experience abuse and neglect, LFCS understands that parents are equally in need of support. “I am a firm believer that being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world,” says Heather Wall, Director of Parenting Services for LFCS. “Now imagine being a parent that is facing risk factors such as a limited support system or living in poverty, then your job just became twice as hard.” Our staff doesn’t judge any parent seeking our help for a better life. Instead, we provide support and empower our clients to do the work needed to make sustainable change.

We believe it is our mission to provide high quality care for children and families in need, in an effort to stop the cycle of abuse and neglect. LFCS  social workers and case managers take a proactive and holistic approach, resulting in a lasting impact for generations to come.

Our staff addresses the risk of child abuse and neglect in several different ways. Our parenting services provide moms and dads with the skills and resources they need to overcome challenges, develop resilience, and create a safe and loving environment for their children. In 2022, over 93% of parents attending LFCS parenting education classes said they developed improved parenting skills.

Our pregnancy services support women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy with non-judgmental support and resources, whether they choose to parent or make an adoption plan. Our compassionate case workers help pregnant women gain access to prenatal care and ensure healthy birth outcomes.

Together we can strengthen families and end the cycle of abuse and neglect. With your support, we can ensure that every child and family in need will have access to these life-changing services. Please visit to help keep kids safe across Missouri.