7514 Big Bend Boulevard
Family Support Network, founded in 1982, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect. In the early 1980s a large number of children in St. Louis sustained fatal or near fatal injuries at the hands of their parents. A group of child abuse professionals, family court officers, local law enforcement officials, and area hospitals formed a Board of Inquiry to discuss new constructive interventions to address this growing issue. The Board of Inquiry reviewed 37 severe cases in the St. Louis area over an eighteen-month period. The results indicated that fifty percent of the fatal or near fatal cases were either preventable or had risk factors that were detectable. The Board's findings determined that child maltreatment is preventable and this prevention is highly cost effective if targeted to the correct group of families. Because there was no existing agency providing preventive services specifically targeted for child abuse and neglect, Family Support Network was formed.
In 2005, the State of Missouri received 54,108 reports of child abuse and/or neglect involving 80,577 children. Of those reports, just over 10% were substantiated as actual cases of abuse. Many of the others are cries for help and could end up as next year's substantiated cases if not provided with preventative services.