Disclosure of Confidential Child Abuse and Neglect Records - Kentucky

Date: February 2022

Confidentiality of Records

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 620.050

The report of suspected child abuse, neglect, or dependency and all information obtained by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services or its delegated representative, as a result of an investigation or assessment made pursuant to this chapter, shall not be divulged to anyone except the persons listed below.

Persons or Entities Allowed Access to Records

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 620.050

Information may be accessed by the following:

  • Persons suspected of causing dependency, neglect, or abuse
  • The custodial parent or legal guardian of the child alleged to be dependent, neglected, or abused
  • Persons within the cabinet with a legitimate interest or responsibility related to the case
  • A licensed child-caring facility or child-placing agency evaluating placement for or serving a child who is believed to be the victim of an abuse, neglect, or dependency report
  • Other medical, psychological, educational, or social service agencies, child care administrators, corrections personnel, or law enforcement agencies, including the county attorney's office, the coroner, and the local child fatality response team that have a legitimate interest in the case
  • A noncustodial parent when the dependency, neglect, or abuse is substantiated
  • Members of multidisciplinary teams
  • Employees or designated agents of a children's advocacy center
  • Persons authorized by court order
  • The external child fatality and near fatality review panel
  • The parties to an administrative hearing conducted by the cabinet in an appeal of a cabinet-substantiated finding of abuse or neglect

Files, reports, notes, photographs, records, electronic and other communications, and working papers used or developed by a children's advocacy center in providing services under this chapter are confidential and shall not be disclosed, except to the following persons:

  • Staff employed by the cabinet, law enforcement officers, and Commonwealth's and county attorneys who are directly involved in the investigation or prosecution of the case
  • Medical and mental health professionals listed by name in a release of information signed by the guardian of the child, provided that the information shared is limited to that necessary to promote the physical or psychological health of the child or to treat the child for abuse-related symptoms
  • The court and persons authorized by a court order
  • The external child fatality and near fatality review panel

Nothing in this section shall prohibit a parent or guardian from accessing records for his or her child providing that the parent or guardian is not currently under investigation by a law enforcement agency or the cabinet relating to the abuse of a child.

Nothing in this section shall prohibit employees or designated agents of a children's advocacy center from disclosing information during a multidisciplinary team review of a child sexual abuse case. Persons receiving this information shall sign a confidentiality statement consistent with statutory prohibitions on disclosure of this information.

When Public Disclosure of Records is Allowed

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 620.050

Information may be publicly disclosed by the cabinet in a case where child abuse or neglect has resulted in a child fatality or near fatality.

When an adult who is the subject of confidential information publicly reveals or causes to be revealed any significant part of the confidential matter or information, the confidentiality afforded by this section is presumed voluntarily waived. Confidential information and records about the person making or causing the public disclosure, not already disclosed but related to the information made public, may be disclosed if disclosure is in the best interests of the child or is necessary for the administration of the cabinet's duties.

Use of Records for Employment Screening

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.