Cross-Reporting Among Agencies That Respond to Child Abuse and Neglect - Kansas

Date: February 2021

Cross-Reporting Between Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 38-2223; 38-2226

When a mandatory reporter has reason to suspect that a child has been harmed as a result of physical, mental, or emotional abuse or neglect or sexual abuse, the person shall report the matter promptly to the Department for Children and Families (DCF), except as follows:

  • When DCF is not open for business, reports shall be made to the appropriate law enforcement agency. On the next day that DCF is open for business, the law enforcement agency shall report to DCF any report received and any investigation initiated pursuant to § 38-2226.
  • Reports of child abuse or neglect occurring in an institution operated by the Department of Corrections shall be made to the attorney general or the secretary of corrections.
  • Reports of child abuse or neglect occurring in an institution operated by the Department for Aging and Disability Services shall be made to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

The department and law enforcement officers shall have the duty to receive and investigate reports of child abuse or neglect for the purpose of determining whether the report is valid and whether action is required to protect a child. If DCF and law enforcement officers determine that no action is necessary to protect the child but that a criminal prosecution should be considered, such law enforcement officers shall make a report of the case to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

When a report of child abuse or neglect indicates (1) that there is serious physical harm to, serious deterioration of, or sexual abuse of the child and (2) that action may be required to protect the child, the investigation shall be conducted as a joint effort between DCF and the appropriate law enforcement agency or agencies, with a free exchange of information between them, pursuant to § 38-2210.

Other Reporting Requirements

Citation: Pol. & Proc. Man. §§ 1240; 0812; 0813; 1340

Children enrolled or eligible to enroll as members of a Native American Tribe require referral to Native American Tribal authorities in some situations. Whenever it appears that a child may come into the custody of DCF or whenever a child has been placed in DCF custody by a court, it is very important that the worker ask whether the child or parent is enrolled in a Native American Tribe. It is the responsibility of the assigned DCF office to notify appropriate parties of reports involving Native American Children.

It is presumed that a child is an Indian child if the child or any other person informs the caseworker that the child is Indian. If the child's Tribal affiliation is known, notice shall be made to that Tribal agency. If the identity or location of the parent or Indian custodian and the Tribe cannot be determined, a letter shall be sent to the Secretary of Interior requesting assistance.

If, during an assessment, information is obtained that indicates a child is or may be a member of an Indian Tribe or eligible for Tribal membership, available supporting information shall be documented in the case record.

When completing an assessment involving an Indian family, the family shall be informed that they may request an Indian interpreter. Assessment of the family must take into account the prevailing social and cultural conditions and way of life of the Indian community.

If an out-of-home placement or loss of parental custody is being considered, the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act apply. The court of the child's Tribal affiliation shall be contacted immediately to determine whether the Tribal court elects to assume jurisdiction.

DCF has entered into agreements with Native American Family Services (for the Iowa), Sac and Fox Tribe of Missouri in Kansas, Prairie Band of Pottawatomi, and the Kickapoo Social Services to provide protective and/or family services to Native Americans of the Tribes located in Kansas. DCF should collaborate with Tribal partners to coordinate appropriate services for the child and family, including family services, family first prevention services, and family preservation services. All Kansas Tribes have agreed to assist with identifying Indian children and their Tribal affiliation.

A report shall not be accepted for investigation and/or further assessment for abuse or neglect when the report regards a family living on a Native American reservation or military installation. For those reports, the caseworker shall follow the procedures established in the current memorandum of understanding with the Native American Tribe or the memorandum of agreement with the military installation.

In such cases, the information taken by the Kansas Protection Report Center shall be transmitted promptly to the appropriate person or agency. The reporter also may be encouraged to make such report directly to the appropriate person or agency in order to ensure all the relevant information is provided to the correct agency.