Bill allowing unannounced Child Protective Services visit passed by Senate committee

03/08/2017 04:11 PM

FRANKFORT – A bill which could provide an additional safety net for youths in the custody of Child Protective Services was unanimously passed on Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare.

House Bill 253, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg, and Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, calls for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to conduct an unannounced visit to the residence or location where the reported abuse or neglect occurred if the reported abuse or neglect occurred in a residence or location where the child lives.

Benvenuti told committee members about a boy who was a victim of fatal domestic abuse at the hands of his mothers boyfriend and the reason behind the bill.

“The cabinet would call ahead and arrange for appointments so, when they were interviewing the young boy, and of course you might imagine he was coached, threatened, to say the right things to the CPS investigator,” Benvenuti said. “Ultimately, one day, that young man walked out to his bus stop and was executed by the boyfriend.”

If the cabinet determines that an unannounced visit would hinder the
investigation, an unannounced visit may be delayed until it may reasonably be
completed. The valid written reason for the delay in conducting an unannounced
visit would be kept in the case record.

“There could be cases in which investigative strategy would lead you to wanting to announce visits, so there could be strategies where you wouldn’t want to do an unannounced visit,” Benvenuti said. “All that has to be done is that exception has to documented in that investigatory file so that folks can go back when there is no unannounced visit done, folks can go back and look at the justification for that.”

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