ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A former prosecutor has a Christmas wish: for Missouri lawmakers to expedite solutions to child abuse and neglect the way they did the Boeing incentive package.
Darrell Moore was the Greene County prosecutor for 26 years. He is now the chairman of the Child Abuse and Neglect Collaborative in the Ozarks.
Moore readily admits the state needs the jobs which might come with the Boeing 777X project but he says the state won’t attract any major employer if issues like child abuse aren’t resolved.
“Those are all critical and they’re all tied together if we’re going to have a state that continues to grow over the next 50 years in terms of having healthy, productive children grow up to be responsible citizens in the state,” he says.
Moore says one problem which can be solved quickly is the turnover in the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services. He says the agency is understaffed and underpaid and lawmakers can do something about that when they meet again in January.
“We’ve had an ongoing problem with child abuse and neglect in particular, it’s not a new issue,” Moore says. “It would be nice if the legislature would focus the same level of attention, immediate attention, to this issue as they did to Boeing because the reality is these children are our future workforce.”