Policy Regarding Reporting Suspected Abuse or Neglect of a Child
The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) accept that institutions of higher education foster educational opportunities for people under the age of 18 years. The BOR, in acknowledging the special care required for children, strives to the utmost to protect children on its campuses from any form of abuse or neglect.
Pursuant to state law, with the exception of student employees, any paid administrator, faculty, staff, athletic director, athletic coach or athletic trainer, collectively referred to as “mandatory reporters” who in the ordinary course of their employment has a reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a person under the age of 18 years has been abused or neglected, has been placed in imminent harm or has had a non-accidental injury is required to cause a report to be made to the Department of Children and Families within 12 hours of becoming aware or suspecting abuse, neglect or imminent harm to a child.
The BOR recognizes that each CSCU campus must be a safe and secure environment for children to grow and develop. Therefore, the BOR further requires mandatory reporters to report any witnessed or suspected abuse or neglect of a child on a CSCU campus to their immediate supervisor in addition to DCF. The supervisor must report the incident to their director or vice president who must then inform the campus President and the System Office Vice President for Human Resources or his/her designee.
If the director or vice president reasonably believes that a reportable incident has occurred, and, if the suspected perpetrator is a BOR or CSCU employee, he/she will immediately contact their Chief Human Resources Officer who shall assign an objective person to investigate the report. An employee under investigation may be placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation. Employees who report suspicions of abuse or neglect are protected from any disciplinary action unless the report is determined to have been maliciously made. An employee who fails to report, but is later determined to have had previous knowledge of the abuse, may be subject to discipline.
A report is required if there is reasonable cause to suspect that a person under the age of 18 is in imminent harm, has had non accidental injuries or has been abused or neglected. Reasonable cause to believe or suspect that child abuse has occurred is sufficient to make a report.
All staff designated as mandatory reporters are required to take the Department of Children and Families Mandated Reporter Training, either on-line or in person, and Mandated Reporter Training will be included in New Employee Orientation. Compliance with training will be monitored by each CSCU campus’s Department of Human Resources. A copy of this policy shall be disseminated annually to all employees.
Reasonable steps will be taken to preserve privacy while promptly investigating and responding to the report. While the institution will strive to maintain the confidentiality of the information reported, which information may be subject to privacy requirements of the Family Education
Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), the institution also must fulfill its duty to protect the CSCU community and to assure that the appropriate disciplinary processes are implemented.
BOR approved 1/17/14 and Revised 1/15/15; requires annual distribution to employees