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Policy 5234

CHILD ABUSE NEGLECT AND REPORTING

I. Purpose

The intention of this policy is to inform and provide awareness to each Longwood University faculty, employee, volunteer, administrator and person who have contact with minors at a Longwood University sponsored event, of the responsibilities each person has in reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.

II. Applicability

The Code of Virginia §63.2-1509 provides that persons, who in their professional or official capacities, have reason to suspect that a child is being abused or neglected are required to report instances of suspected child abuse and neglect to the local Social Services Department or to the Department of Social Services (DSS) Toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline 1-800-552-7096.

In 2012, the Virginia General Assembly (SB239) added "any person employed by a public or private institution of higher education" to the list of "mandated reporters" set out in §63.2-1509 of the Code of Virginia.

III. Definitions

Mandated Reporter:  1) is a person that is required by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect.  2) any person that is of 18 years of age that completes the approved DSS Child Abuse and Neglect web training. §63.2-1509(A) (13).

This definition includes all persons employed by Longwood University.

Child abuse and Neglect:  The Code of Virginia §63.2-100 defines an abused or neglected child as any child under 18 years of age whose parent or any person responsible for his or her care:

  • Causes or threatens to cause a non-accidental physical or mental injury;
  • Has a child present during the manufacture of a controlled substance or during the unlawful sale of such substance where such activity would constitute a felony violation;
  • Neglects or refuses to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, emotional nurturing, or health care;
  • Abandons the child;
  • Neglects or refuses to provide adequate supervision in relation to a child's age and level of development;
  • Knowingly leaves a child alone in the same dwelling with a person, not related by blood or marriage, who has been convicted of an offense against a minor for which registration is required as a violent sexual offender; or commits or allows to be committed any illegal sexual act upon a child, including incest, rape, indecent exposure, prostitution, or allows a child to be used in any sexually explicit visual material.

IV. Policy

Responsibilities:

  1. Any mandated reporter who, has reason to suspect that a minor is abused or neglected, is required to report the matter immediately, but not longer than 24 hours after having reason to suspect a reportable offense of abuse or neglect. Reports must be submitted to the local office of the Department of Social Services (111 South St. P. O. Box 628 Farmville, VA 23901-0628 (434) 392-3113 or to the Department's state-wide toll-free child abuse and neglect hotline (1-800-552-7096).
  2. In addition, any Longwood University mandated reporter is required to notify the campus police at (434-395-2091) following the report to local social services or DSS. In no case, should notification to one's supervisor or campus police relieve a mandated reporter of his or her individual duty under the law, to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the local department of social services or the DSS abuse and neglect hotline.
  3. For any employees of an independent contractor, student, or volunteer that will be in contact with minor(s) on campus through any Longwood University sponsored program, activity, camp, conference, retreat, academic presentation or any other university program, it will be the responsibility of the department head to ensure that this person is provided the ability to obtain the approved DSS child abuse and neglect reporting training and at the very least understands the responsibility of this policy.

Penalties: If a mandated reporter fails to do so, the person may be fined $500 for the first failure and $1,000 for all subsequent failures to report.  Any mandated reporter who fails to report suspected acts of child rape, sodomy, or object penetration may be found guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. Va. Code §63.2-1509 (D).

Furthermore, any person who files a report pursuant to this law or who testifies in a judicial proceeding arising from such report is immune from any civil or criminal liability or administrative penalty or sanction, unless the person acted in bad faith or with malicious purpose. Va. Code §63.2-1509 (C).

V. Procedures

The online training course "Mandated Reporters: Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect" is available through the Department of Social Services at the following:

Current Link: http://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/cps/mandated_reporters/cws5692/index.htm  (Note: if link is not working please contact Longwood University Human Resources)

Approved by the Board of Visitors, September 14, 2012