Kentucky is a mandatory reporting state.
Reference KRS 209.030 (2)
Any person, which includes professionals and the public, who suspects abuse, neglect, or exploitation is legally required to report it. You can report abuse to the 24-hour toll-free hotline at (877) 597-2331.

Individuals can make a report by calling the Cabinet’s Child and Adult Protective Services hotline at 1-877-597-2331. This line is monitored 24/7, including holidays and weekends. Non-emergency reports can be submitted via the Cabinet’s web portal at https://prd.webapps.chfs.ky.gov/reportabuse/home.aspx. The web portal is only monitored Monday through Friday, 8:00 am 4:30 PM EST. All reports made after hours, on holidays, and weekends should go through the hotline.

No, reports can be made anonymously. However, it is helpful if the caller leaves their name and contact information in case additional or clarifying information is needed.

Once a report is made, the reporting source will receive an intake ID number. Central intake staff will not call the reporting source back to advise the status. The only time Central intake staff will contact the reporting source is if additional information or clarifying information is needed to make an intake determination. The reporting source can contact Central Intake to check the status of the report and regardless of how the report is made (call or written) a reporting source can go to the following link to check the status of the intake https://prd.webapps.chfs.ky.gov/reportabuse/ReportStatusSearch.aspx

  • The caller may not have provided sufficient information to determine if the adult:
    A. Has a mental or physical dysfunction;
    B. Is unable to manage his/her own resources, carry out the activity of daily living or protect himself or herself from neglect, exploitation, or a hazardous or abusive situation without assistance from others; or
    C. Needs protective services.
  • There is insufficient information to identify or locate the adult, or explore leads to identify or locate the adult.
  • A specific act of abuse, neglect, or exploitation was not alleged; the caller may not have provided specific information, only generalized feelings of concern.
  • The concerns reported may have been more regulatory and not specific allegations of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and regulatory concerns are investigated by other agencies.
  • The report concerns a situation or specific incident investigated in the past 30 days and no new or additional information or change in the adult's circumstances is communicated by the reporting source.

Investigate reports of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.
Conduct investigations in the community or facility settings.
Provide appropriate services and supports based on the results of the investigation.

Per KRS 209.020 (8), abuse means the infliction of injury, sexual abuse, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment that results in physical pain or injury, including mental injury.

Per KRS 209.020 (16), neglect means a situation in which an adult is unable to perform or obtain for himself or herself the goods or services that are necessary to maintain his or her health or welfare, or the deprivation of services by a caretaker that are necessary to maintain the health and welfare of an adult.

Per KRS 209.020 (9), exploitation means obtaining or using another person's resources, including but not limited to funds, assets, or property, by deception, intimidation, or similar means, with the intent to deprive the person of those resources.

APS reports are shared with Commonwealth/county attorneys and local law enforcement. Depending on the nature of the report, it could also be shared with authorized agencies who have a legitimate interest in the case.

Yes, adults have the right to self-determination. APS will assess and if determined the adult has capacity to make informed decisions, the adult has the right to accept or refuse services. If the adult is assessed and does not have capacity to make informed decisions.

The report is screened to determine if it meets acceptance criteria. If the report meets criteria, it is assigned to an APS worker in the county where the adult resides. All adults are offered protective services and may accept or refuse services. If it is determined an adult, as defined in KRS 209, lacks the capacity to consent to services and is living in conditions, which create a substantial risk of death or could cause immediate and serious physical harm to the adult or others, the APS worker assesses the need for involuntary protective services and requests the least restrictive intervention.

Adult protection laws vary by state. Kentucky does have criminal penalties in KRS 209.990.

Yes, Kentucky has the Caregiver Misconduct Registry, per KRS 209.032. This registry is maintained by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Individuals are only placed on the registry through an adult protective services investigation. Not all individuals are eligible for placement on the registry, only individuals who are identified as a compensated caregiver or an “employee” of a vulnerable adult service provider as defined in KRS 209.032.

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