19.2 Receiving the Report


The Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) accepts all reports that allege physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation or mental injury of individuals who meet the definition of adult under KRS Chapter 209 Protection of Adults.  Reports not meeting the definition of adult may be reviewed to determine if the information or allegation meets acceptance criteria for general adult services or is appropriate for referral to other community partners for assistance. Each report is considered for investigation or preventive services and when a report is accepted; the adult may be unable to participate in the investigation or may refuse to be interviewed. However, all reports meeting acceptance criteria for investigations are assigned and completed per KRS 209.020(10).  Each level of intervention provides important services and the SSW should always offer preventive or protective services to each adult.
The department also accepts reports alleging that an adult died as a result of abuse or neglect. These may include but are not limited to reports by law enforcement, a coroner or other sources, discovery of the death during an adult or child protective services investigation, or reasonable cause to believe that a previous death was the result of abuse or neglect.

Centralized intake staff utilize the following information to determine what investigative/assessment path to assign to each report received:

  • Adult Protective Services path-This path is chosen when a report is received that indicates a vulnerable adult is being abused, neglected or exploited in some way.  
  • Alternate Care APS path-This path is chosen when a resident of a long term care facility is transferred. This track is only applicable during the movement and placement of residents in long term care that is typically associated with a facility closure.
  • Guardianship path-This path is chosen when an interdisciplinary team (IDT) is assigned by the court.
  • Law Enforcement Assist path-This path is chosen when law enforcement is requesting assistance and the report does not meet APS acceptance criteria. 

Practice Guidance

  • When receiving a report of suspected adult abuse, neglect or exploitation the SSW makes every effort to obtain information that may assist in determining if the adult may be in need of protective services or is in a state of emergency and/or immediate need of protective services. 
  • A report may be made orally or in writing to DCBS.  Anonymous reports are accepted if they meet all other criteria.


The SSW:

  1. Makes every effort to obtain from the reporting source the following information:
    1. Name and address or location of the alleged adult victim;
    2. Any person responsible for the care of the adult, if applicable;
    3. Age of the adult;
    4. Nature and extent of the abuse, neglect or exploitation, including any evidence of previous abuse, neglect or exploitation;
    5. Date and time of specific incident;
    6. Identity of the alleged perpetrator of abuse, neglect or exploitation;
    7. Information that may assist in determining if the adult may be in a state of emergency and in immediate need of services; and,
    8. Other information relevant to the safety of the adult and SSW;
  2. Advises the reporting source if additional information is needed before a report meets criteria for investigation;
  3. Completes the following tasks if the reporting source refuses to provide the information or does not have sufficient information to identify or locate the alleged victim:
    1. Tells the reporting source why the report does not meet DCBS criteria for an investigation;
    2. Provides the reporting source with information regarding community resources that may be of assistance; and
    3. Documents in The Worker Information System (TWIST):
      1. Why the report did not meet criteria; and
      2. Any resource linkage provided to the reporting source, if applicable;
  4. Contacts other agencies, individuals, databases (e.g., Kentucky State Police/Law Information Network of Kentucky (KSP/LINK), Cabinet records (including TWIST), and child abuse and neglect central registry for the purpose of securing additional information which may be relevant in the investigation.