Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

2.1 Receiving and Assigning the Report

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 2-Child Protective Services (CPS) Intake and Investigation
2.1 Receiving and Assigning the Report

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Legal Authority/Introduction


Child Protective Services (CPS) are specialized services aimed at safeguarding the rights and welfare of abused, neglected, or dependent children.  The Cabinet has the authority and obligation to assure that reports meet the statutory and regulatory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency before a child protective assessment or investigation begins. 

The Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP) accepts reports that meet the statutory and regulatory definitions of abuse, neglect, or dependency where the alleged perpetrator is in a caretaking role. The identity of persons who report allegations of child abuse or neglect is kept confidential.  Reports of child abuse or neglect allegations from persons who wish to remain anonymous will be accepted; however, staff encourage all reporters to provide contact information so follow-up can occur if more information is needed.


The intake FSOS:

Ensures that the Kentucky Child/Adult Protective Services Reporting System is monitored continuously during business hours (8:00am-4:30pm Eastern Standard Time).

The intake SSW: 

  1. Explains to the reporting source:
    1. His/her immunity from liability pursuant to KRS 620.050; and
    2. The Cabinet’s requirements to maintain the confidentiality of the reporting source, unless ordered to report such by a court;
  2. Attempts to elicit from the reporter as much information about the child’s circumstances as possible, including:
    1. The identity of the reporting source and his/her relationship to the child or situation;
    2. Specific information as to the nature and extent of the abuse, neglect, or dependency;
    3. The cause of the abuse, neglect, or dependency;
    4. The current location of the child and family/caretaker;
    5. Identifying information regarding any witness to the alleged incident;
    6. The condition of the child;
    7. Knowledge or suspicion of a previous occurrence of child abuse or neglect;
    8. Whether the reporting person, or any other person, has taken any action;
    9. Whether there are any immediate safety issues for the child;
    10. Whether there are any safety issues for the investigative worker; and
    11. General information regarding the perpetrator including name, location, and relationship to the child;
  3. Enters reports in TWIST as directed by the  CPS Case Naming Protocol Tip Sheet; and
  4. Assigns reports to the county where the victim resides, except in cases where allegations of abuse or neglect are made against a staff in a specialized setting.  Those referrals are assigned to the county where the facility/home is located.   

When a web based report is received from the Kentucky Child/Adult Protective Services Reporting System, the intake SSW: 

  1. Follows procedure three (3) above;
  2. Copies and pastes the information from the report into the intake screens in TWIST;
  3. Ensures that the web tracker ID is entered in TWIST on the 115 to allow the reporting source to follow-up regarding whether the report was accepted; 
  4. Ensures that all reports received from the site are screened according to the same criteria as all other reports;
  5. Contacts the reporting source via e-mail to advise when the report does not meet criteria, following the template in practice guidance below;
  6. Assigns a report received involving a DCBS or PCP foster/adoptive home, crisis stabilization unit, family registered child care home, licensed child care facility, registered or family child care provider, school employee, supports for community living (SCL), community mental health (CMHC), psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF), psychiatric hospital, or day treatment facility to the county where the foster home, facility, or school is located victim resides and forwards it to the FSOS and SSW (for information purposes) in the county where the case of origin is assigned; and in which the facility is located; and  
  7. Assigns all other reports to the county where the victim resides.     

Contingencies and Clarifications

  1. Based on regional protocol, another county may be assigned a foster home referral as deemed appropriate by the SRA.
  2. Requests for Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) home evaluations, home studies, and placement supervision requests are automated and received as an unassigned intake similar to a report received from a JC-3, web, or Centerstone report; however, with an ICPC request, the intake information has already been added.  Centralized intake (CI) staff will complete the intake.  When the intake is approved and a case is created, the case manager then has access to the ICPC request information including all of the attachments that were previously emailed to CI and DCBS staff.  Supervision intakes no longer populate an ADT as they are routed directly to the worker. 
  3. If a report meets acceptance criteria and the parent has already made an appropriate adoptive plan for the child, the intake will continue to be assigned and the investigation will be worked simultaneously with the adoptive plan continuing.  The SSW may not need to seek emergency custody of the child with the appropriate adoptive plan in place.  Contact the Adoption Services Branch at (502) 564-2147 with questions regarding the validity of the adoptive plan. 

Practice Guidance

    • When a CPS report is received and accepted, the agency’s primary responsibility is establishing the safety of the child(ren).  The most critical element in the decision regarding where to assign a report is determined by which county can ensure safety of the child(ren) in the timeliest manner. 
    • Since situations vary between regions, an all inclusive list of potential scenarios is not possible.  However, the following questions should be considered by CI teams and on call staff when making decisions about where to assign an investigative report:
      • Is the child at imminent risk?
      • Where does the child typically reside?
      • Which location would minimize time and travel for an assigned investigator?
    • SRAs have the discretion to assign a report, within their region, to the county determined to be the most appropriate based on workload, staffing, or other personnel needs.  
    • When more than one region is involved, regional management,from both regions (SRAs, SRCAs and SRAAs) is to work together to make the best possible assignments of CPS reports.  The Child Protection Branch is available for consultation regarding SOP clarifications about assignment issues and the Division of Service Regions is available to assist with mediation and resolution of situations as needed. 
  • Each region has an e-mail box to receive the online referrals. 
  • The Kentucky Child/Adult Protective Services Reporting System is not available for use on evenings, weekends, or holidays and the website should not be used for emergency referrals.  

Template for Web Based Reports Not Accepted

  • If a web based report is received, but does not meet acceptance criteria, please copy and paste verbatim the following information into an e-mail response to the reporting source: 
    • Provide the web ID number

      This e-mail is to advise that the report you submitted via the web based reporting system for the Commonwealth of Kentucky did not meet acceptance criteria.

      If you have additional information or concerns not included in the original report, please call the abuse hotline at 1-877-597-2331.

      Thank you,

Related Information

  • The caregiver’s act (HB 176) was enacted to enable relative caregivers to have authority to make health care or school arrangements for a child in their care, who is not currently under the supervision of the Cabinet. 


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