Parental Substance Use as Child Abuse - Missouri

Date:

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 191.737(1)-(3), (5) 

Effective August 28, 2019: Notwithstanding the physician-patient privilege, any physician or health-care provider may refer to the Children's Division families in which children may have been exposed to a controlled substance or alcohol, as evidenced by a written assessment, made or approved by a physician, health-care provider, or by the division, which documents the child as being at risk of abuse or neglect, as evidenced by either of the following:

  • Medical documentation of signs and symptoms consistent with controlled substances or alcohol exposure in the child at birth
  • Results of a confirmed toxicology test for controlled substances performed at birth on the mother or the child

Notwithstanding the physician-patient privilege, any physician or health-care provider shall refer to the division families in which infants are born and identified as affected by substance abuse, withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure, or a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, as evidenced by either of the following:

  • Medical documentation of signs and symptoms consistent with controlled substances or alcohol exposure in the child at birth
  • Results of a confirmed toxicology test for controlled substances performed at birth on the mother or the child

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 191.739

The Department of Social Services shall provide protective services for children that meet the criteria established in § 191.737. In addition, the department may provide preventive services for children that meet the criteria established in § 191.737.

No department shall cease providing services for any child exposed to substances as set forth in § 191.737, wherein a physician or health-care provider has made or approved a written assessment that documents the child as being at risk of abuse or neglect until the physician or health-care provider authorizes the file to be closed.

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 568.045

A person commits the offense of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree if he or she does the following:

  • Knowingly acts in a manner that creates a substantial risk to the life, body, or health of a child younger than age 17
  • Unlawfully manufactures or attempts to manufacture compounds; possesses, produces, prepares, sells, transports, tests, or analyzes amphetamine or methamphetamine or any of their analogues in the presence of a child younger than age 17 or in a residence where a child younger than age 17 resides

The offense of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree is a class D felony, unless any of the following applies:

  • The offense is committed as part of an act or series of acts performed by two or more persons as part of an established or prescribed pattern of activity, or where physical injury to the child results, or the offense is a second or subsequent offense under this section, in which case the offense is a class C felony.
  • The offense results in serious physical injury to the child, in which case the offense is a class B felony.
  • The offense results in the death of a child, in which case the offense is a class A felony.