Mandatory Reporting

To make a report of child abuse or neglect, contact the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), a division of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), at 1-877-KYSAFE1.

What requires mandatory reporting in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, every person is a mandated reported. We all have a Duty to Report:
  • CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT: Kentucky law requires requires mandatory reporting of child abuse, neglect, and dependency (KRS 620)
  • SPOUSE ABUSE: Kentucky law requires that spouse abuse be reported to CHFS. (KRS 209A)
  • ABUSE OF ADULTS WITH DISABILITIES: Kentucky law requires that abuse, neglect, or exploitation of certain vulnerable adults be reported to the CHFS. (KRS 209A)

How do I make a report?

  • Contact DCBS at 1-877-KYSAFE1 or local law enforcement.
  • Reports can also be made online.

What if I suspect abuse or neglect, but I'm not sure?

KASAP's Tips for Fulfilling Your Duty to Report:

  • When reporting is required, it should be done immediately.
  • You should not investigate prior to making a report.
  • The duty to report abuse overrides most professional “privileges” that generally protect confidential communications. So, when you have a duty to report, you must do so regardless of privilege. The only exception is for child abuse reporting, when the communication is made within the attorney-client or clergy-penitent relationship.
  • Since the duty to report applies to individuals, you should make all reports directly to appropriate government officials, even if you are told that a report has already been made. Though your institution’s policies and procedures may require you to tell someone inside your organization, internal reporting does not fulfill your legal duty to report.
  • In many cases, it is difficult to "substantiate" reports of abuse, especially sexual abuse. Therefore, it can be critical to file additional reports if you learn of violence that occurred after a report was made. You may also ask to speak directly with a supervisor and/or contact the Office of Ombudsman at 1-800-372-2973.
  • Reports can be made anonymously. However, if you do not give your name, it may be especially important to document the reporting in your own records.
  •  The law requires that the source of a report of abuse, neglect or exploitation is kept confidential unless court ordered to be released.
  • Kentucky’s mandatory reporting laws are codified in: KRS 600.020 and KRS 620 for child abuse and KRS 209 for adults with disabilities
NOTE: DO NOT report all sexual assaults based on the fact that a sexual assault occurred. Reporting sexual assaults follows the same reporting guidelines as above. Remember, reporting without client/patient/victim consent, except where the law requires, is a violation of Kentucky state law as well as federal laws such as HIPAA and VAWA.
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