Child abuse protection

Important information on Delaware's Child Abuse Protection Act

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12:26 p.m., Nov. 15, 2011--The University of Delaware's Office of General Counsel provides the following important information on Delaware's Child Abuse Protection Act. 

Everyone in the UD community is committed to preventing the abuse of children. 

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All states, including Delaware, have laws that require people who witness or know about child abuse to report it to the authorities.

At Pennsylvania State University, two officials were indicted earlier this month on criminal charges of violating Pennsylvania’s mandatory reporting statute. Since then, the General Counsel’s Office here at the University of Delaware has received many inquiries about the standards in Delaware for reporting child abuse. Now is the time for all of us to review Delaware’s mandatory reporting statute and make sure we understand the process.

DELAWARE’S CHILD ABUSE PROTECTION ACT IS MUCH BROADER THAN CORRESPONDING STATUTES IN OTHER STATES. Here is a link to the Delaware law: http://delcode.delaware.gov/title16/c009/sc01/index.shtml

Before 2010, the Delaware law resembled Pennsylvania’s and those in other states. It applied only to certain categories of people (so-called “mandated reporters”) who routinely had contact with children, such as doctors, teachers and social workers. In 2010, after the arrest and prosecution of pediatrician Earl Bradley on child sexual abuse charges, Delaware’s statute was revised to expand its scope beyond enumerated categories of mandated reporters.

The Delaware Child Abuse Protection Act now applies to ANY person in Delaware who knows about child abuse or has good-faith reason to suspect that someone has committed child abuse. This means ANY member of our University community, including any student, faculty member or staff member. “Child” means any person under the age of 18.

Delaware has a prescribed reporting process. The law requires reports to be made to the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families. Reports must ordinarily be made by telephone. 

The Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families has a special website containing information on mandatory reporting requirements in Delaware. Here’s the link: http://kids.delaware.gov/fs/fs_iseethesigns.shtml

The state maintains a toll-free “Child Abuse and Neglect Report Line.” The line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free number is 1-800-292-9582.

If you see, hear about or know about possible child abuse on our campus, you must take the following three steps:

(1) You must immediately contact University Police by calling 911 or 302-831-2222. 

(2) You must immediately report what you know by calling the state’s child abuse reporting line at 1-800-292-9582.

(3) Once you have made your telephone reports to University Police and Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, you must inform your immediate supervisor, who will in turn notify the appropriate vice president.

Immediate action is essential to protect all children on our campus, and is required by Delaware law.  

If you have any questions, please call the General Counsel’s Office at (302) 831-7361 or email us at generalcounsel@udel.edu. The text of this communication has been posted on the General Counsel’s web site at www.udel.edu/generalcounsel/announcement.html

This communication deals only with child abuse as defined in Delaware’s mandatory reporting statute. The University has policies and procedures to address other forms of abuse, discrimination, and harassment. For more information, please check the University’s “Stop Hate” web site at www.udel.edu/stophate.

Thank you.

Office of General Counsel

University of Delaware

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