Kansas City has thousands of open child abuse and neglect cases and too few investigators
As of August, Kansas City had 3,636 open investigations into child abuse and neglect. Across the state, there are more than 10,000 cases that have been open more than 45 days after being reported. Missouri officials acknowledge the problem and that fixing it isn't easy.
A high stress job with low pay has contributed to a shortage of cases workers and a backlog of more than10,000 open abuse and neglect investigations in Missouri's Children's Division, a new investigation by the NPR Midwest Newsroom found.
Missouri state Rep. Keri Ingle, a former case worker, said there have been committee discussions to raise the pay.
"My fear is that the legislature tends to be very reactionary," Ingle said. "I hope, I really truly hope it doesn't take a tragic occurrence, something really, really tragic happening for them to realize how important it is to pay investigators what they're worth.