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UPPS 01.04.41 - Reporting Abuse of Minors and Training Policy

Reporting Abuse of Minors and Training Policy

UPPS No. 01.04.41
Issue No. 1
Effective Date: 12/06/2017
Next Review Date: 7/01/2020 (E3Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Assistant Vice President, Human Resources

  1. POLICY STATEMENTS

    1. This document establishes policy and defines responsibility for reporting suspected abuse of minors and complying with state law and training requirements for members of the Texas State University community.

    2. This policy applies to all Texas State faculty and staff employees, student workers who have direct contact with minors, third-party vendors and their employees affiliated with Texas State who have direct contact with minors, and volunteers working with Texas State who have direct contact with minors.

    3. Texas State will comply with the Texas Education Code (Section 51.9761), Child Abuse Reporting and Training (Section 51.976), Training and Examination Program for Employees of Campus Programs for Minors on Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse and Child Molestation and Family Code (Chapter 261).

  2. DEFINITIONS OF TERMS

    1. Abuse includes the following acts or omissions by a person:

      1. mental or emotional injury to a minor that results in an observable and material impairment in the minor’s growth, development, or psychological functioning;

      2. causing or permitting a minor to be in a situation in which the minor sustains a mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in the minor’s growth, development or psychological functioning;

      3. physical injury that results in substantial harm to the minor, or the genuine threat of substantial harm from physical injury to the minor, this includes an injury that is at variance with the history or explanation given and excludes an accident or reasonable discipline by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator that does not expose the minor to a substantial risk or harm;

      4. failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent an action by another person that results in physical injury or substantial harm to the minor;

      5. sexual conduct harmful to a minor’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare, including conduct that constitutes the offense of continuous sexual abuse of a minor, indecency with a minor, sexual assault, or aggravated sexual assault;

      6. failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct harmful to a minor;

      7. compelling or encouraging a minor to engage in sexual conduct, including compelling or encouraging the minor to engage in conduct that constitutes an offense of trafficking of persons, prostitution, or compelling prostitution; and

      8. causing, permitting, encouraging, engaging in, or allowing the photographing, filming, or depicting of the minor if the person knew or should have known that the resulting photograph, film, or depiction of the minor is obscene, or pornographic.

    2. Camper means a minor who is attending a Texas State campus program for minors.

    3. Campus program for minors at Texas State means a program that:

      1. is operated by or on the campus or on properties owned by the university;

      2. offers recreational, athletic, religious, or educational activities for campers who are not enrolled at the institution; and

      3. is a day camp or a camp where the minor temporarily resides in on-campus housing.

    4. Day Camp includes any camp that primarily operates during any portion of the day between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm.

    5. Designated individual is any person, whether employed, an independent contractor, or volunteer who has direct contact with a minor. Examples of designated individuals include, but are not limited to, faculty, staff, student workers (student assistants including work-study), graduate, teaching or research assistants, volunteers, and contracted employees.

    6. Direct contact with a minor includes in-person visits, physical touching, talking on the phone or sending messages, written communication such as letters or notes, or taking any action which furthers a relationship such as buying presents. It excludes an individual who is a student enrolled at the institution or a faculty or staff member whose contact with a minor is limited to a single class or short duration.

    7. Minor is a person under 18 years of age who is not and has not been married. If the person under the age of 18 is or has ever been married, the person is not considered a minor and a statement from the minor is the evidence that determines this.

    8. Neglect includes:

      1. The leaving of a minor in a situation where the person knows or should know that the minor would be exposed to a substantial risk of physical or mental harm, without arranging for necessary care for the minor, and the demonstration of an intent not to return by a parent, guardian, or managing or possessory conservator of the minor; or

      2. The following acts or omissions by a person who knows or should know that:

        1. placing a minor in or failing to remove a minor from a situation that a reasonable person would realize requires judgment or actions beyond the minor’s level of maturity, physical condition, or mental abilities and that results in bodily injury or a substantial risk of immediate harm to the minor;

        2. failing to seek, obtain, or follow through with medical care for a minor, with the failure resulting in or presenting a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or bodily injury or with the failure resulting in an observable and material impairment to the growth, development, or psychological functioning of the minor;

        3. failing to provide a minor with food, clothing, or shelter necessary to sustain the life or health of the minor.

        4. placing a minor in or failing to remove the minor from a situation in which the minor would be exposed to a substantial risk of sexual conduct harmful to the minor; or

        5. placing a minor in or failing to remove the minor from a situation in which the minor would be exposed to acts or omissions that constitute abuse committed against another minor; and

        6. failing (by the person responsible for a minor’s care, custody, or welfare) to permit the minor to return to the minor’s home without arranging for the necessary care for the minor after the minor has been absent from the home for any reason, including having been in residential placement or having run away.

    9. Person responsible for a minor’s care, custody, or welfare means a person who traditionally is responsible for a minor’s care, custody, or welfare, including:

      1. a parent, guardian, managing or possessory conservator, or a foster parent of the minor;

      2. a member of the minor’s family or household a defined by Texas Family Code Chapter 71;

      3. a person with whom the minor’s parents cohabits;

      4. school personnel or a volunteer at the minor’s school; and

      5. personnel or a volunteer at a public or private minor-care facility that provides services for the minor or at a public or private residential institution or facility where the minor resides.

    10. Professional means an individual who is licensed or certified by the state or who is an employee of a facility licensed, certified, or operated by the state and who, in the normal course of official duties or duties for which a license or certification is required, has direct contact with minors. The term includes teachers, nurses, doctors, day-care employees, employees of a clinic or healthcare facility that provides reproductive services, juvenile probation officers, and juvenile detention or correctional officers (Family Code Chapter 261.101(b)).

    11. Program camp operator means a person who owns, operates, controls, or supervises a campus program for minors, regardless of profit.

    12. Report means a report that alleged or suspected abuse of a minor has occurred or may occur.

  3. PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING ABUSE OR NEGLECT OF A MINOR

    1. All Texas State employees, third-party vendors, or volunteers who have direct contact with minors have 1) an obligation to report actual or suspected abuse or neglect of a minor or 2) cause to believe that an adult was a victim of abuse or neglect and determines, in good faith, that disclosure of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of another minor. A person may not delegate or rely on another person to make the report.

    2. Any individual who witnesses a minor in imminent danger or a crime against a minor in progress should immediately call 911.

    3. A report must definitely be made within 48 hours of the initial suspicion of abuse or neglect of a minor, even if the person thinks that a report has already been filed by another person, to:

      1. the University Police Department at 512-245-2805; or

      2. Title IX coordinator at 512-245-2539; or

      3. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) at www.dfps.state.tx.us/ or 1-800-252-5400.

    4. A person making a report shall include, if known: 1) the name and address of the minor; 2) the name and address of the person responsible for the care, custody or welfare of the minor; and 3) any other pertinent information concerning the alleged or suspected abuse or neglect.

    5. The requirement to report applies without exception to an individual whose personal communications may otherwise be privileged.

    6. Failure of a person to comply with the reporting requirements of this policy and state law is a violation of state criminal law and the person may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion.

  4. TRAINING ON REPORTING ABUSE OF A MINOR

    1. Training required to be completed by faculty and staff:

      1. All Texas State faculty and staff will complete a module on reporting abuse of a minor and neglect through the Ethics and Compliance training program as required.

      2. Training will include prevention techniques for and the recognition of symptoms of sexual, physical, emotional or medical abuse and neglect of minors, techniques for reducing a minor’s risk of sexual abuse or other maltreatment, and the requirements and procedures for reporting suspected occurrences of abuse and neglect.

      3. Completion of the required training for faculty and staff is tracked through Human Resources.

    2. Additional training requirements to be completed by designated individuals:

      1. Student workers, third-party vendors, and volunteers who have direct contact with minors in a campus program with minors must complete the certified state training program provided through Texas State on an annual basis.

      2. The training module link is https://sa.txstate.edu/childprotection.

      3. All staff and volunteers must undergo an annual criminal background check. If the criminal background check will be conducted through Human Resources, the department or third-party vendor will pay for the criminal background check.

      4. The program camp operator must certify with the appropriate university designee that he or she is solely responsible for ensuring full compliance with the requirements of Texas Education Code, Section 51.976 before the first day of the camp.

  5. PROCEDURES FOR CAMP PROGRAMS FOR MINORS WHO RESIDE IN ON- CAMPUS HOUSING

    1. Program camp operators who operate a campus program for minors residing in on-campus housing in accordance with enacted legislation by the State of Texas (Texas Education Code, Section 51.976) need to ensure that all their staff and volunteers have undergone an annual criminal background check and completed a certified training program on child abuse and molestation awareness.

    2. Proof of compliance with the requirements of Texas Education Code, Section 51.976, is required seven business days prior to moving into on-campus housing.

    3. The program camp operator must certify that he or she is solely responsible for ensuring full compliance with the requirements of Texas Education Code, Section 51.976 before moving into on-campus housing.

    4. The program camp operator must submit the camp staff and volunteer roster and the list of campers to the conference coordinator in the Department of Housing and Residential Life. The conference coordinator will generate a report that verifies all staff and volunteers are in compliance prior to allowing the camp to reside in on-campus housing.

  6. PROCEDURES FOR DAY CAMP PROGRAMS FOR MINORS

    1. Program camp operators who operate a day camp program for minors in accordance with enacted legislation by the State of Texas (Texas Education Code, Section 51.976) need to ensure that all their staff and volunteers have undergone an annual criminal background check and completed a certified training program on child abuse and molestation awareness.

    2. Proof of compliance with the requirements of Texas Education Code, Section 51.976, is required seven business days prior to the first day of the camp.

    3. The program camp operator must certify that he or she is solely responsible for ensuring full compliance with the requirements of Texas Education Code, Section 51.976 before the first day of the camp.

    4. For Athletics Department day camps, the program camp operator will submit the camp staff and volunteer roster and the list of campers to the Associate Athletic Director or designee who will verify all staff and volunteers are in compliance prior to allowing the camp to utilize campus facilities.

    5. For Academic Affairs day camps, the Program camp operator will submit the camp roster through their respective academic dean or designee verifying all staff and volunteers are in compliance prior to allowing the camp to utilize campus facilities. Each respective academic dean or designee will submit documentation of their camps to the assistant vice president for Academic Services or designee.

  7. CAMP REPORTS AND RETENTION OF RECORDS

    1. The Department of Housing and Residential Life conference coordinator, the associate athletic director, and the assistant vice president for Academic Services will submit reports containing a list of all camps residing in on-campus housing or all day camps to the special assistant to the president by the end of the fiscal year.

    2. Reports will be retained by the special assistant to the president for two fiscal years.

  8. CONFIDENTIALITY, IMMUNITY, AND RETALIATION

    1. Due to the sensitive nature of this type of report, it is important to maintain the highest level of confidentiality and professionalism.

    2. A person acting in good faith who reports or assists in the investigation of a report of alleged or suspected child abuse or neglect or who testifies or otherwise participates in a judicial proceeding arising from a report, petition, or investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

    3. Filing a false report is a violation of state criminal law and may subject faculty, staff or students to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion.

    4. Texas State may not retaliate against a person who in good faith reports child abuse or neglect to their supervisor, an administrator of the facility where the person is employed, a state regulatory agency, or a law enforcement agency, or initiates or cooperates with an investigation or proceeding by a government entity relating to allegation of child abuse or neglect.

  9. REVIEWERS OF THIS UPPS

    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Assistant Vice President, Human Resources July 1 E3Y
      Assistant Vice President, Academic Services July 1 E3Y
      Director, Housing and Residential Life July 1 E3Y
      Director, Athletics July 1 E3Y
      Special Assistant to the President July 1 E3Y
      TSUS Associate General Counsel July 1 E3Y
  10. CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Assistant Vice President, Human Resources; senior reviewer of this UPPS

    Vice President for Finance and Support Services

    President