Monday, September 17, 2012

New state web portal eases non-emergency reporting of child and adult abuse and neglect

The state Department for Community Based Services has launched a web-based portal for reporting child and adult abuse and neglect in non-emergency situations. According to DCBS Commissioner Teresa James, the new system should enhance the current intake system, especially for those situations that do not require an immediate response from the department's staff.

Law enforcement and judicial officials, medical professionals, educators, child and senior caregivers and other advocates have been using the program since July, giving feedback to DCBS staff to help refine the system for the general public. According to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services press release, "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."

The site,, will be monitored from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. 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. Calls are anonymous. If the report meets the criteria for abuse, an investigation is conducted within 24 hours in most cases or, if the child is suspected to be in immediate danger, they are conducted within the hour. Callers should try to know the child's name, approximate age, address, parents' names and location of the child when the call is made. They should also have names and phone numbers of other people who have information about the suspected abuse.


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