The Children’s Division delivers services to protect Missouri’s children and to provide them a safe and stable environment. A 24-hour hotline is available for the public to report alleged incidents of child abuse and neglect, and these reports are followed up on by state staff, often in coordination with law enforcement. Children in the custody of the state are placed in foster care homes or residential facilities. Children who cannot return home may be adopted or placed in a guardianship home. The division also administers the child care program and other abuse and neglect prevention programs.
Division of Finance and Administrative Services
The Division of Finance and Administrative Services provides administrative support for the Department of Social Services, including the areas of budget, contract management, accounts payable, federal grants management, and facilities management.
Division of Legal Services
The Division of Legal Services provides comprehensive legal support to the Department of Social Services. The division participates in due process hearings for public assistance and child support recipient appeals, provides legal representation for the department in juvenile and circuit courts, coordinates with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, investigates fraud and abuse of public assistance programs, assists in investigations of child abuse and neglect, and conducts background investigations on department employees.
Division of Youth Services
The Division of Youth Services provides residential treatment, case management, community care, and aftercare to youth committed to the state’s custody for various crimes. The division model is an internationally known treatment-focused model, contrary to the typical penal system. The Juvenile Court Diversion Program works with local communities to help prevent juvenile crime and provide treatment for youth in their own communities.
Family Support Division
The Family Support Division determines eligibility for and administers many of the needs-based, income tested programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (cash assistance), Medicaid eligibility, child care subsidy eligibility, Income Energy Home Assistance Program, Rehabilitation Services for the Blind, Blind Pension, and the Community Services Block Grant. Families may also apply with the division for child support services, including paternity and/or support order establishment and collection services.
MO HealthNet Division
The MO HealthNet Division administers the state’s Medicaid program for low-income Missourians, including the elderly, the disabled, children, parents and pregnant women. While states must meet certain minimum criteria to receive federal Medicaid funding, each state can establish eligibility guidelines, benefit packages, and provider payment rates for its program. The division engages in health care provider claims adjudication; care management through contracted health plans and health homes; and establishing edits and prior authorization policies to ensure quality care are focal to the Medicaid program’s work.
Office of Director
The Office of the Director provides leadership and strategic direction for the Department of Social Services, performs administrative functions including human resource management, and audits the Medicaid Program to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.