Sep 10, 2012 2:28 PM
The Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) has launched a new web-based abuse/neglect reporting portal that will modernize and enhance the current intake system.
The online Kentucky Child/Adult Protective Services Reporting System makes it convenient, confidential and secure to report non-emergency situations that do not require an immediate response from DCBS staff.
DCBS, part of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is the state's primary agency for child and adult protection.
DCBS Commissioner Teresa James said the system was created to better protect Kentucky's children and vulnerable adults.
"The safety of Kentucky's children, adults and seniors depends on a shared responsibility," James said. "We launched this website so concerned members of the public can more easily report suspected abuse and neglect and so that child and adult welfare investigators and law enforcement officials can better do their jobs."
The website can be accessed at https://prd.chfs.ky.gov/ReportAbuse/home.aspx, and will be monitored from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT, Monday through Friday. Website reports will not be reviewed during evenings, weekends or state holidays. If situations arise during these times indicating a child or adult is at risk of immediate harm, these should be reported to 911, local law enforcement or (877) KY SAFE1.
The website is accessible by any computer or smartphone.
James said the ease and immediacy of the portal should make the reporting system more efficient.
"Reporting suspected abuse and neglect is the right instinct, and it is the law in Kentucky," James said. "With this new tool, we are giving people another direct method to contact our intake staff. If you see something of concern -- don't wait, make the report."
Professional partners like law enforcement and judicial officials, medical professionals, educators, child and senior caregivers and other advocates have been using the program since July. Users have given feedback to DCBS staff to help refine the system for the general public.
Users of the portal are required to enter an email contact and will receive an immediate, automated response that their online report has been made. Centralized intake staff will review reports as they are submitted. Users will receive a response message within 48 hours only if their report has not been accepted because it doesn't meet criteria for investigation. Reports that are accepted do not generate a follow-up email message.
The reporting portal has several mandatory input fields so that intake staff can get adequate information about the incident, the alleged victim, the alleged perpetrator and any safety issues in order to screen reports effectively. Users who cannot complete information in all the required fields should call the toll-free reporting hot line: (877) KY SAFE1 or (877) 597-2331.
Learn more about recognizing the signs of child and elder abuse at http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dpp/.