30.2 CAPTA Appeals


​​​​​​​​​​An individual found by the Cabinet to have abused or neglected a child may appeal the Cabinet’s finding through an administrative hearing in accordance with 922 KAR 1:480.  Such hearings are commonly referred to as “CAPTA appeals,” as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) require such processes for states to maintain eligibility for funding under the act.​​​​​​​​

Practice Guidance

  • A request for appeal is provided in writing by the individual appealing the decision and includes:
    • A description of the nature of the investigation;
    • The reason the appellant disputes the Cabinet’s substantiated findings;
    • The name of each known Cabinet staff person involved with the investigation;
    • A copy of the notice of substantiated finding of child abuse or neglect if available.
  • The client may request assistance of the Cabinet if the individual is unable to complete the appeal form without assistance.
  • The written appeal is submitted no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of:
    • The notice of substantiated finding of child abuse or neglect is mailed; or
    • Delivery of the notice if not mailed.
  • The Office of the Ombudsman will notify the victim's parent/caretaker if the request for administrative hearing is granted. 
  • Final administrative action by the Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services or designee is taken, unless waived by the appellant, within ninety (90) days from the date of the request for an administrative hearing as required by 45 C.F.R. 205.10.

  • The following matters are not eligible for an appeal through a CAPTA administrative hearing:
    • A matter which a civil court having competent jurisdiction:
      • Has heard evidence and made a final judicial determination that abuse or neglect of a child did or did not occur; or
      • Is currently engaged in legal proceedings regarding the same issue being appealed;
    • A matter in which an appellant has been criminally charged and convicted of an action that is the basis of the cabinet’s finding of abuse or neglect of a child;
    • A final administrative decision made by the Cabinet or Cabinet’s designee as a result of a previous appeal on the same issue;
    • An appeal that has been abandoned by an appellant who failed to demonstrate good cause for failure to go forward;
    • Failure to submit a written request for appeal within the required thirty (30) calendar days from the date the notice of the substantiated finding of abuse or neglect is mailed or of the delivery notice if not mailed;
    • An investigation that results in an unsubstantiated finding of abuse or neglect of a child.


The SSW or Cabinet staff:

  1. Provides to any individual found to have abused or neglected a child a DPP-155 Request for Appeal of Child Abuse or Neglect Investigative Finding at the time the notice of substantiated findings is provided to the perpetrator as described in SOP 2.13 Case Disposition-Determination Whether to Open a Case;
  2. Follows the process as outlined below after receipt of notice of CAPTA settlement request:
    1. The service region consults with regional office staff (typically SRA, SRCA, SRAA, regional attorney, etc.) and reviews the appeal. If the SSW or FSOS has an objection regarding the potential result of a settlement including risk it may present to a child, it is imperative that the SRA be notified as soon as possible in order to communicate with the Office of Legal Services and Director of Service Regions.
    2. If the service region agrees that the finding can be overturned, the FSOS changes the finding in TWIST and includes the following statement explaining the reason for the change:
      “A DPP-155 was filed on __[date]__.  Following a review of the DPP-155 and consultation with regional office, it was determined that the findings related to Intake ID #________ have been amended from [original finding] to [newly agreed upon finding].”
    3. If the service region disagrees with overturning the finding, the regional attorney may use prosecutorial discretion to change the finding without the service region’s consent.  The Commissioner’s Office or its designee will change the finding in TWIST after a final order has been issued.
    4. If the regional attorney also disagrees with overturning the finding, the DPP-155 will then proceed to a hearing.
  3. Changes the department's finding to match the courts following any hearing where the court hears evidence on the petition and makes a finding on the allegations presented in the petition;
  4. Obtains a copy of the final CAPTA order from the regional attorney and files in the case record;
  5. Does not make any changes to the case record or to the assessment;
  6. Sends a notification of findings letter to the alleged victim's custodian if a finding is overturned.  The alleged perpetrator will receive notice through the issuance of the final order from central office.