☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 210

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  210.795.  Report of missing children, procedure — protocols — annual audit, when. — 1.  (1)  A child in the care and custody of the children's division whose physical whereabouts are unknown to the division, the child's physical custodian, or contracted service providers shall be considered missing and the case manager or placement provider shall immediately inform a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children within two hours of discovery that the child is missing.

  (2)  The case manager shall document the report number and any relevant information in the child's record.

  (3)  Within twenty-four hours of a report being made under this subsection, the department shall inform and obtain information about the child's disappearance from the child's parents, known relatives, out-of-home caregivers, attorney, guardian or guardian ad litem, court-appointed special advocate, juvenile officer, or Indian tribe, as applicable, or from any other person known to the department who may have relevant information regarding the child's disappearance.

  (4)  The case manager shall:

  (a)  Within one week and monthly thereafter, maintain contact with the child's family members, friends, school faculty, and service providers and with any other person or agency involved in the child's case;

  (b)  Document ongoing efforts to locate the child; and

  (c)  Continue contacting law enforcement about the missing child and shall make quarterly reports to the court about the status of the child and efforts to locate the child.



The department shall contact law enforcement every seven days and document the information provided and any information received.

  (5)  The division shall not petition the court for a release of jurisdiction for the child or stop searching for the child while the child is missing until the child reaches the age of twenty-one.

  2.  The division shall maintain protocols, including appropriate trainings, for conducting ongoing searches for children missing from care.  Such protocols shall include preventative measures to identify and mitigate risk to children who are at increased risk for running away or disappearing or of being victims of trafficking as defined under section 566.200.

  3.  The division shall ensure that each child in the care and custody of the division has an updated photograph in the child's record.

  4.  When a child is located, the department shall:

  (1)  Inform all law enforcement agencies and organizations involved in the child's case; and

  (2)  Have in-person contact with the child within twenty-four hours after the child is located to assess the child's health, experiences while absent, the appropriateness of the child returning to the child's current placement, and the factors that contributed to the child's absence.

  5.  Any employee or contractor with the children's division, child welfare agencies, other state agencies, or schools shall, upon becoming aware that an emancipated minor as defined in section 302.178, a homeless youth as defined in section 167.020, or an unaccompanied minor as defined in section 210.121 is missing, inform the appropriate law enforcement agency and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children within twenty-four hours.

  6.  Within twenty-four hours of a missing child being found, the division shall assess whether the child was a victim of trafficking and determine any factors that caused the child to go missing.

  7.  The general assembly may require an annual independent audit of the department's compliance with this section.


(L. 2023 S.B. 186)

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2023 ----

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