Protection of Minors

Protection of Minors
Issuing Offices:  University Office of Human Resources and University Ethics Office
Issue Date: November 8, 2012
Revision Date: July 8, 2013


I. Policy Statement
The University of Illinois recognizes a fundamental obligation to protect minor children in its care; the youngest and potentially most vulnerable members of its community. Accordingly, the University has adopted certain safeguards intended to better protect minor children when they are on University premises participating in University programs and activities designed to include minors, or when they are in the care of University staff. The University and its employees shall comply with applicable federal and state laws to provide a safe environment in which children can learn, discover, and achieve their full potential. This includes compliance with the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.

All University of Illinois personnel, volunteers, and contractors are expected to be familiar with and comply with the provisions of this Policy and any related University or campus policies and/or procedures, as applicable. In addition, non-university organizations and entities that operate non-university programs and activities on campus (i.e. Registered Student Organizations, lessees, etc.) shall be familiar with this Policy and shall take appropriate precautions to protect minors participating in or attending their programs and activities.  

II. Website Address For This Policy
This policy and related procedures are published on the University Human Resources website at http://www.hr.uillinois.edu/ in the Policy Library section.

III. Requirements

  1. Duty to Cooperate

    All Members of the University Community shall cooperate with investigations of alleged child abuse/neglect, including DCFS initiated, law enforcement initiated, and/or internal investigations. All Members of the University Community shall also cooperate with investigations of alleged violations of this Policy and any applicable campus procedures.

  2. Duty to Complete Education and Acknowledgement; Sign Certificate
    1. The Illinois “Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act” (ANCRA) mandates that all personnel of an institution of higher education must immediately report cases of suspected child abuse or neglect of minors (children under the age of 18) directly to the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) at 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873) as soon as abuse or neglect is suspected.
    2. All Members of the University Community must complete the University-approved education program(s) and sign a certification acknowledging completion of the training.
    3. All Members of the University Community must also sign an acknowledgement certifying their understanding of reporting responsibilities.
  3. Duty to Report
    1. To University Police: All Members of the University Community shall report suspected child abuse or neglect to the appropriate University of Illinois Police Department (UIC: 312-996-2830; UIS: 217-206-6690; UIUC: 217-333-1216). In emergencies or when an incident involves injury, all Members of the University Community are expected to call the police and the appropriate University office. 
    2. To DCFS: In addition, all University Personnel who have reasonable cause to believe that a minor child known to them in his or her professional or official University capacity may be an abused or neglected child must immediately make a report to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) at 1-800-25-ABUSE  (1-800-252-2873) as soon as abuse or neglect is suspected[1]. In addition to making a verbal report to DCFS, the reporting party must follow any additional directions given by DCFS to complete the report. Other Members of the University Community are encouraged to make a report.
      1. The duty to report includes (but is not limited to) the requirement that University personnel report any suspected abuse that they witness occurring on University premises or at a University-sponsored event.
      2. The duty to report includes both (a) minors who are currently enrolled at the University or accepted for enrollment (e.g., a 17 year-old student enrolled as an undergraduate); and (b) minors who are not enrolled or accepted for enrollment as students at the University but who participate in a University program or activity designed to include minors or who otherwise become known to University personnel in their official or professional capacity.
    3. To Medical Examiner or Coroner:All University Personnel who have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has died as a result of abuse or neglect shall immediately report his suspicion to the appropriate medical examiner or coroner.[2] Other Members of the University Community are encouraged to make the report referenced herein.
  4. Duty to Submit to Background Checks
      All Members of the University Community who are responsible for the supervision or care of children, or whose duties would require close contact and/or alone time with minors who are not enrolled or accepted for enrollment at the University, must undergo a criminal background check and sex offender registry check in accordance with campus procedures. Campuses may require checks from other individuals as deemed appropriate.
    1. Each campus must establish policies and procedures for conducting background checks of individuals responsible for the supervision or care of children, or whose duties would require close contact and/or alone time with minors who are not enrolled or accepted for enrollment at the University. At a minimum, such policies must require checks for Members of the University Community involved in programs or activities designed to include minors who: 1) are directors or supervisors of such programs or activities; 2) those whose duties require close contact and/or alone time with minors as part of their job responsibilities or role in the program or activity; and 3) those who stay overnight with the minors as part of their job responsibilities or role in the program or activity. The campuses may adopt applicable state or federal background check standards or requirements for certain programs as warranted.
    2. In the event of extenuating circumstances (e.g. the need for numerous volunteers with short lead time) an alternative to background checks may be allowed by the campus. The alternative method includes 1) recording the names and contact information for the individuals prior to the program date, 2) verifying the names have been checked against the online sex offender registry and disqualifying anyone who is listed in the registry, and 3) requiring individuals to show a valid photo ID upon program check-in. Campus officials should consider the duration of the event, whether there will be one-on-one or alone time with minors, whether or not overnight accommodations are involved, and how recently the individual was last required to submit to a background check by it or other institutions before allowing an exception to the background check requirement.
  5. Campus and Program Safeguards
    1. Each campus must maintain a current report of University activities and programs designed for minors not enrolled or accepted for enrollment at the University. Activities and programs to be recorded on the report include, but are not limited to camps, summer programs, lessons, performances, and tutoring. The report must at a minimum detail program location/facility, dates and times, age range of participants, and planned number of participants. For each program listed, contact information must be provided for two responsible individuals who will make arrangements for the safety of minors and other participants in the event of an emergency.
    2. Each campus should document minimum standards or safeguards for appropriate levels of supervision for programs and activities, including guidelines for overnight stays.

IV.Retaliation Will Not Be Tolerated
Retaliatory acts against Members of the University Community who make good faith reports or complaints under this policy, and/or who cooperate in the investigation and handling of such complaints, even if it is found that no violation of the policy has occurred, will not be tolerated. In accordance with the University Whistleblower Policy, any member of the University community who believes that he or she is the subject of retaliation or reprisal should contact the appropriate office as designated in the Policy. The University will promptly investigate all complaints of alleged retaliation or reprisal.

V. Sanctions for Violation of Policy
Failure to comply with the provisions of this policy and any related campus procedures may result in cancellation of an event and/or discipline in accordance with campus and University policies, up to and including termination of employment, dismissal from the University, issuance of No-Trespass Notices, and/or disqualification for participation in future volunteer activities. Knowingly making a false report or complaint under this policy, or knowingly providing false or intentionally misleading information during an investigation, may also result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment and/or dismissal from the University.

For purposes of this Policy, the following definitions shall apply:

  1. Child Abuse and Neglect:“Abused Child” and “Neglected Child” are defined in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, 325 ILCS 5/3. Please consult the statute for a full definition. In general, abuse includes the maltreatment of a child under the age of 18 by a parent, step-parent, guardian, foster parent, immediate family member, paramour of the natural parent, any individual residing in the same home, any person responsible for the child's welfare at the time of the alleged abuse, or any person who came to know the child through an official capacity or position of trust. Child abuse can be physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or neglect.

    Physical abuse includes when a parent or a person responsible for the child’s welfare inflicts, causes to be inflicted, or allows to be inflicted a physical injury, by other than accidental means, which causes death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health, or loss of impairment of any bodily function; creates a substantial risk of physical injury; commits an act of torture; inflicts excessive corporal punishment; commits or allows to be committed female genital mutilation; causes the selling, transfer, distribution, or giving of illegal drugs to a child; or commits or allows to be committed involuntary servitude, involuntary sexual servitude of a minor, or human trafficking.

    Sexual abuse includes when a parent or a person responsible for the child’s welfare commits or allows to be committed any of the following: transmission of a sexual disease; sexual penetration; sexual molestation; sexual exploitation and/or places a minor at risk of sexual harm.

    Neglect includes when a parent or a person responsible for the child deprives or fails to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, needed medical care, or supervision. A child is also considered neglected if he or she is subjected to an environment which is injurious insofar as (i) the child’s environment creates a likelihood of harm to the child’s health, physical well-being, or welfare and (ii) the likely harm to the child is the result of a blatant disregard of parent or caretaker responsibilities.
  2. Member of the University Community: All University Personnel, University Volunteers, and University Contractors.
  3. Minor: A person under the age of eighteen (18).
  4. University Contractor: An individual retained by the University under contract to provide services and/or support for programs and activities designed to include minors.
  5. University Personnel: Includes but is not limited to all University faculty, staff, Post-Doctoral, visiting scholars, and students in their capacity as student-employees.
  6. University Volunteer:An uncompensated individual who is authorized by a University department or unit to: a) perform civil, charitable, or humanitarian services related to the business of or in support of activities of the University designed to include minors, or b) gain personal or professional experience in specific endeavors. Volunteers perform services without a promise, expectation, or receipt of any compensation for services performed, including a promise of future employment. This definition does not include parents or guardians who are accompanying their child at a program or activity and who may provide incidental service for the program or activity.


VII. Additional Resources


Chicago

Springfield

Urbana-Champaign

See Frequently Asked Questions related to this policy for more information.

 


 

[1] Any person who knowingly transmits a false report to DCFS commits the offense of disorderly conduct under subsection (a)(7) of Section 26-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961. A violation of this subsection is a Class 4 felony. See the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, 325 ILCS 5/1, et seq for more information about this reporting requirement.

[2] See section 325 ILCS 5/4.1 of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act for more information about this reporting requirement.