The goal of the County Attorney’s office is the care and protection of the child in juvenile family court cases. These proceedings are not criminal in nature, and the goal of all dependency, neglect, and abuse cases is, through the appropriate treatment and therapies, to reunify the child with the family.
Child abuse is a serious crime that can be prosecuted under the Kentucky Penal Code; however, the juvenile family court proceedings are independent of any criminal proceedings. It is possible to have both criminal and family court proceedings prosecuted at the same time.
What is “The Cabinet”?
“The Cabinet” is short for The Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which administers programs to promote the mental and physical health of Kentuckians and support Kentucky’s families. Specifically, Child Protective Services workers are who will investigate the report.
Can the Child Protective Service worker take the child into custody without the case first going to court?
Yes, the caseworker has the ability to get an Emergency Custody Order to remove the child, if the child will be in immediate danger if not immediately taken into custody.
What Findings are Necessary for the CPS Worker to Determine Neglect or Abuse?
The workers classify each investigation as either “substantiated” or “unsubstantiated.” If the worker determines that the report is unsubstantiated, this means that there was not enough credible evidence found to determine neglect or abuse occurred.