J.T. BUCHHEIT | Chief Copy Editor
The Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board selected Lindenwood political science professor Jeanie Thies to serve as one of its volunteers for the next three years.
The Child Abuse and Neglect Board reviews cases where parents appeal child protective services’ decisions to physically or legally take custody of a child because of abuse or neglect.
Thies has applied for multiple boards over the years, and her background is in corrections and crime control. She worked as a researcher for six years on a project involving the overlap between domestic violence and child abuse and neglect.
Thirteen people, all women, were appointed to this board by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens. Thies said these agencies have a lot of responsibility, and bureaucratic problems and underfunding make the volunteers’ jobs difficult. But she believes preventing child abuse and neglect is a stepping stone to solving other issues.
“I think if we can stop child abuse and neglect, we can stop a lot of other problems in our society,” Thies said. “So I’m hoping we’ll be able to provide some assistance to the agencies in making the right decision.”
Thies said problems that often stem from child abuse include the abused person becoming depressed, engaging in substance abuse and criminal behaviors and having an increased risk of suicide.
The board will meet once a month throughout the year for seven hours per day. The meetings will take place in Kansas City, St. Louis and Jefferson City, Missouri, and according to the Missouri Boards and Commissions website, members will read eight to 10 cases prior to each meeting.