Talking about Child Sexual Abuse in COVID times


We know this is a difficult time as a parent. We and our children have been pushed out of our usual comfortable lives,  and in many cases way out of our comfort zones, abruptly and in heart-wrenching, challenging ways.

It likely seems overwhelming to think about child sexual abuse during a global pandemic. Why add one more scary topic to the others you are already doing your best to explain to your children?

Because difficult, scary, unfamiliar conversations are at the heart of what we do as parents. Stepping into them is how we, and our relationships with our children, grow. Not all at once. Not every topic at the same time. Not by pushing ourselves or our children into a place of overwhelm and panic. But also not by hiding in fear or running away. No, we grow awkwardly, imperfectly, step by step, one comment, one question, one conversation at a time. 

Because even during a pandemic, unfortunately especially during times of crisis, children will be sexually abused by community helpers, family members, siblings, and peers.

When we step outside of what is familiar and comfortable, that is when we learn. We learn when we are able to settle into the dis-comfort and realize that, for the moment, we are safe, even if our feelings are amped up. We can breathe and look around with curiosity. We see opportunities that we might have missed otherwise.

Right now, in the midst of everything else — yes, right there with all the rest of your other fears– I am asking you to simply take a few of the small steps to reduce the risk of children you know being sexually abused.

You can do this, and you are not alone. There are other parents and community members who are working to protect our children with you. We will do what we need to do to keep our children as safe as we can from the COVID virus and from child sexual abuse. 

Take 5 minutes right now. Watch this 4 minute video from Child Safety Pledge. Commit to learning and doing more to protect your children. Then, congratulate yourself: you’ve taken the first step!

Want to know more? Feel free to call us at (660) 359-2874 for resources in your community. And as always, please call the Child Abuse Hotline if you suspect or know of any kind of child abuse that is happening and for more information regarding statistics please go to 



Back to School resources

Ready for back-to-school season? Check out great resources from our friends at Stop It Now! about choosing a program for your child. And be sure the staff and volunteers with your child’s school, team or other group know how to prevent abuse and recognize warning signs by scheduling one of our trainings! Click here to see the trainings being offered by the Children's Advocacy Center. 


Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program

What is  P-EBT?

If your child receives free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school, P-EBT is an opportunity to be reimbursed for the meals your child ate at home while schools were closed due to COVID-19. You'll receive an EBT $302 per eligible child (pre-K to 12th grade), consisting of $57 for March, $125 for April and $120 for May. 

What you need to know now:

  • Using P-EBT benefits does not impact you or your chill's immigrations status. 
  • The Public Charge rule does not apply to P-EBT.
  • Students may receive P-EBT and also get meals provided by their school district. 
  • Text "FOOD" to 877-877 to find a site where kids, 18 years old or younger, can pick-up a free, healthy meal. No ID is required. 

How to access P-EBT:

  • If your family was enrolled in SNAP (also called food stamps) in March, $302 will be automatically uploaded to your EBT card for each eligible child. No need to submit an application.
  • If your family was NOT enrolled in SNAP in March but your child typically receives free or reduced-price school meals, please complete an application by clicking the following link: P-EBT Application
  • If your family's income has changed due to the pandemic, you may be eligible for P-EBT. Complete and applications to see if you qualify at the provided link: P-EBT Application

For more information about P-EBT you can do the following:

Visit the Missouri Department of Social Services website:

Call the Family Support Division Information Center: 855-373-4636

Additional information about P-EBT and food resources are available at


Missouri Child Abuse & Neglect Mandated Reporter Training is now On-line

For anyone interested in taking the on-line version of Missouri's Child Abuse and Neglect Mandated Reporter Training, the link is provided below.  This training meets all the necessary components required for those agencies tasked with public safety and who have the responsibility of taking care of children at any point in time, such as medical providers, law enforcement, schools, religious organizations, public/private community groups, etc.

Prevention is Primary: Strategies for Community Wellbeing

Prevention Institute, a non-profit national center dedicated to improving community health and well-being, is proud to announce the official publication of Prevention is Primary:  Strategies for Community Wellbeing.  Edited by Prevention Institute and Vivian Chavez of San Francisco State University, Prevention Is Primary aims to move practitioners from the margins of prevention to its core by defining the elements of quality prevention efforts, identifying best practices, and illustrating the application of prevention principles in a multitude of settings.