The first day of legislative session is always a great day for me. It’s a lot like the first day of school: you’re excited to see old friends but the workload hasn’t quite set in yet. This year began with so many truly inspiring conversations with friends and allies who share Missouri KidsFirst’s vision for creating the state our children deserve.

I spent some time with the newly elected Chair of the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, Sen. Jeanie Riddle and her Chief of Staff, Zach Monroe. We discussed the best structure for maximizing the effectiveness of the Committee and some of the key issues we need to examine.

I also had a great discussion with Rep. Bill Lant, who was the Committee’s chair last year. I anticipate that I will be organizing some statewide multi-disciplinary meetings in the next few months to begin outlining a blueprint for how to make Missouri’s child welfare system the best in the nation.

This is a year for thinking big.



This year began with so many truly inspiring conversations with friends and allies who share Missouri KidsFirst’s vision for creating the state our children deserve.

For immediate help, please call Missouri’s Statewide Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1-800-392-3738

Missouri KidsFirst is not a 24-hour service provider and does not provide crisis services.

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