Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
How to make an abuse to neglect report:
CHFS Web Referral (available from 8:00 am -5:50 pm):
Phone (available Mon - Fri from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm): 800-752-6200
After Hours phone number: 1-877-597-2331
Kentucky law requires mandatory reporting of child abuse, neglect, and dependency (KRS 620) and the abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of adults who have a physical or mental disability and are unable to protect themselves; this might include an elderly person (KRS 209). Reports are typically made to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The Cabinet, in turn, will investigate the allegation and is sometimes required to notify the appropriate law enforcement agency. Disclosure of abuse/neglect may result in a criminal investigation, arrest, and prosecution of the abuser, although the primary purpose of our mandatory reporting laws is to get protective services to the person being abused.
As of June 29, 2017, Kentucky’s mandatory reporting law for victims of domestic violence has been changed to a mandatory information and referral provision. The revised law requires certain professionals to provide educational material to victims of domestic and dating violence with whom they have had a professional interaction. This law also requires these same professionals to make a report to police IF requested to by the victim and to report to police if they believe that the death of a victim may be related to domestic or dating violence.
Responding to information about abuse and neglect:
- Listen and BELIEVE.
- Do not investigate, if it isn’t your job to do so.
- Determine if reporting is required by law.
- Make the report immediately, if required by law or requested by the victim.
- Do so in the safest way possible for the victim/safety planning/referrals.
- Identify resources for the victim and yourself.
- Continue to interact with the victim as normally as possible and provide support.
- Reporting is often a beginning, not an end!
- Victims often need more support and advocacy after a report is made.