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Child welfare delays put Missouri cases in peril

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of pending child welfare investigations are at risk of being thrown out because they weren't completed fast enough.

The Kansas City Star reports that Missouri law requires child welfare workers to complete abuse and neglect investigations within 30 days after the initial hotline call unless there's "good cause" for a delay. The law also requires that those accused be notified of the conclusion within 90 days of the hotline call.

Two accused women, one from West Plains and another from the Kansas City area, sued to clear their names. Lower courts sided with the women, finding the 90-day deadline wasn't met. Now, the Missouri Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments in the cases.

Child welfare advocates say the litigation has created uncertainty.

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