Child Abuse Reporting Laws for Kentucky

State and Statute: Kentucky, Stats. §§ 620.030 et seq.

What Is Reportable “Abuse”: Physical, sexual, emotional or mental abuse, or neglect. [620.010]

Mandatory Reporters: Any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child is abused. “Nothing in this section shall relieve individuals of their obligation to report.” [620.030(1)(2)]

How and Where to Report: Oral or written report to a local law enforcement agency, the Department of Kentucky State Police, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services or its designated representative, the state attorney general, or the county attorney. [620.030(1)]

Timeline to Report: Immediately. Certain professions, including teqches, school personnel, child-caring personnel, or “any organization or agency” involving the professions listed, may be requested to provide a more detailed written report within 48 hours to local law enforecement, state police, the state cabinet, the state attorney, or county attorney. [620.030(1)(2)]

Clergy Privilege: “Neither the husband-wife nor any professional-client/patient privilege, except the…clergy-penitent privilege, shall be a ground for refusing to report under this section or for excluding evidence regarding an…abused child or the cause thereof, in any judicial proceedings resulting from a report pursuant to this section. This subsection shall also apply in any criminal proceeding in District or Circuit Court regarding a dependent, neglected, or abused child.” [620.030(5)]

Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Class B misdemeanor for first offense, Class A misdemeanor for second offense, Class D felony for all subsequent offenses. [620.030(8)]

Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? No statute recognizes civil liability. Consult with legal counsel to ensure no recent court decisions in Kentucky have recognized civil liability.

Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “Anyone acting upon reasonable cause in the making of a report … in good faith shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed … However, any person who knowingly makes a false report and does so with malice shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.” [620.050(1)]

Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: Team members and meeting participants may not disclose reporter’s identification. [620.040(7)(f)] Reporter’s identification may not be disclosed except under certain circumstances. [620.050(5)]

Additional Information for Kentucky:

All information provided here was most recently verified in March of 2023.

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