State Laws. B. Child Abuse Reporting Requirements

09/25/2000

1. Inclusion of statutory rape in reporting requirements

Mandatory reporters are required to report all cases in which they know or have reasonable cause to believe that a child has been the victim of abuse.[323] The definition of abuse includes sexual abuse. However, the definition only applies to those cases where a child’s parent, guardian, or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child commits or creates a risk of abuse.[324]

2. Mandatory reporters

Anyone who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been the victim of abuse is considered to be a mandatory reporter.[325] This requirement does not apply to information covered under the attorney-client or clergy-penitent privilege.[326]

3. Who to report to

Mandatory reporters can make an oral or written report of abuse to any of the following agencies: local law enforcement, Kentucky State Police, the Cabinet for Families and Children, the Commonwealth’s attorney, or the county attorney. Although mandatory reporters are not required to report cases of abuse that do not involve a child’s parent, guardian, or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child, the statute does include requirements for mandatory reporters who report these cases. In addition to the initial report, individuals reporting these cases must, if requested, also file a written report with all of the other agencies designated to receive reports.[327]

4. State response

Whatever agency receives a report of abuse must immediately notify all of the other agencies designated to receive reports. The Cabinet for Families and Children must notify the prosecutor’s office and law enforcement of any cases of abuse that do not involve the victim’s parent, guardian, or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child.[328]

All investigations of child abuse must be conducted by a specialized multi-disciplinary team that includes representatives from law enforcement and Cabinet social workers. The team can also include representatives from the Commonwealth and county attorneys office, child advocacy centers, physical and mental health providers, victim advocates, and educators. Law enforcement is responsible for leading the investigations of cases in which the defendant is not the parent, guardian, or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child.[329]