Any client shall have access to their case record, except for adoption and termination case records, which may only be shared upon receipt of a court order from the court of jurisdiction that granted the adoption and/or termination. Before a client can have access to their case record, staff must comply with confidentiality laws so that proper disclosure is made. A request for case records from anyone not expressly permitted by Kentucky Revised Statue (KRS) without legal access will be subject to disclosure only upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction. If a client requests for someone other than him/herself to review their case record, they are required to provide Records Management Section with a signed authorization to allow access/disclosure of the case record.
A copy of notice outlining regulations governing the access and disclosure of public records of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) will be displayed in a prominent location in every office to which the public has access.
If anyone comes to a local or regional office and makes a request for records or an open records request, staff cannot give them any case information. Staff must follow the procedures discussed in this SOP. The Division of Administrative and Financial Managment (DAFM) Records Management Section will generate all correspondence regarding open records requests. The local DCBS office does not generate any correspondence regarding open records requests.
- The only individuals that are permitted to view current case files in field offices are as follows:
- Commonwealth attorney and county attorney;
- Law enforcement officers assigned to the case;
- Guardians ad litem;
- Attorneys that are assigned to termination of parental rights (TPR) cases;
- Court appointed special advocates (CASA); and
- Those with memorandums of understanding (MOU) or business associate agreements.
- Local and regional offices please note:
- A staff member must be present at all times while the individual is viewing the file;
- The commonwealth attorneys, county attorneys, and law enforcement officials assigned to the respective cases may obtain unredacted copies of documents for ongoing investigations and active court cases. For all other situations, the initial referral source must be redacted unless a court order states otherwise;
- If someone other than the above referenced comes into a field office and requests to review the files, they cannot. They must submit a written request to the Records Management Section;
- Do not take original case files out of the field offices for any reason; and
- If staff has questions regarding which agencies the CHFS has MOUs or business associate agreements, contact the custodian of records at 502-564-3834.
- If a court order or subpoena is received that only requests the worker to appear and is not asking the worker to produce records, then the Records Management Section does not need to receive a copy of the court order or subpoena.
- The worker must appear in court as stipulated by the court order or subpoena.
When an applicant (client, a former client’s attorney, or individuals other than the client) requests access/disclosure of the client’s case record, DPP and staff at the local or regional office will:
- Provide the applicant with the CHFS-305 Authorization for Disclosure of Protected Health Information to facilitate the request;
- Notify the applicant that a request for a client’s health information must be directed to:
Cabinet for Health and Family Services
Department for Community Based Services
Records Management Section
275 East Main Street, Section 3E-G
Frankfort, Kentucky 40621
Using the CHFS-305 Authorization for Disclosure of Protected Health Information or CHFS-305A Authorization for Disclosure of Psychotherapy Information;
- Provide the applicant assistance in completing the form;
- Advise the applicant that the Records Management Section will respond to their request;
- Immediately email the request to the Records Management Section at CHFSDCBS.RMS@ky.gov, if a local or regional office receives a written request for records; and
- Contact the Records Management Section to confirm receipt of the email after the request has been sent.
The local or regional office, upon receiving a court order or subpoena, proceeds as follows:
- Immediately emails a copy of the court order or subpoena to the Records Management Section at CHFSDCBS.RMS@ky.gov , if the court order or subpoena is requesting the worker to appear and is also requesting that records be produced;
- Immediately emails a copy of the court order or subpoena to the Records Management Section at to CHFSDCBS.RMS@ky.gov, if the court order or subpoena is requesting records only;
- Calls the Records Management Section at 502-564-3834 to verify that the email was received and to receive instructions from the custodian of records regarding the court order or subpoena to receive copies of documentation from case files.