Kentucky kids deserve a safe environment to learn and grow. This session, legislators have the opportunity to strengthen the safety of children at public schools by passing SB 194. Below are the top six things you need to know about SB 194.
- The bill would require a background check for substantiated child abuse and neglect for all public school employees.
- While schools are required to conduct criminal background checks, they don’t know about cases where an individual was found to commit child abuse or neglect but was not prosecuted criminally. This can happen for a variety of reasons, like when a child is too young to testify in court.
- The Cabinet for Health and Family Services currently maintains a Central Registry used to check for substantiated child abuse or neglect. Agencies like child care and child-caring facilities are required to check the registry for employment purposes.
- The Child Abuse or Neglect Check reveals if there was a substantiated finding of abuse or neglect. Details of the case and unsubstantiated findings are not reported.
- SB 194 prohibits placement of school employees whose check reveals a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect at schools that serve children in the care of the state.
- SB 194 adds the Child Abuse and Neglect Check to statute, mirroring requirements for new hires regarding criminal background checks. It also requires Child Abuse or Neglect Checks of employees at regular intervals during employment.
SB 194 has passed the Senate Education Committee and now needs a vote on the Senate floor. Stay up to date on the status of this bill here. Check out the fact sheet from the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children for additional information.