Child Abuse and Neglect

Purpose

The purpose of this Child Abuse and Neglect Policy is to provide guidance to members of the University community regarding the reporting of suspected cases of Child Abuse and Neglect and to affirm the commitment of the University to the protection of the safety and welfare of children who visit campus or participate in University-sanctioned events.

Policy

Under the State of Florida’s Protection of Vulnerable Persons Act, every individual in the state is required to immediately report known or suspected child abuse and child sexual abuse, neglect, or abandonment committed on the property of the University or during an event or function sponsored by the University to the Florida Department of Children and Family Services’ Abuse Hotline, with the definition of “child” including any person under the age of eighteen. This includes reporting suspected abuse committed by adults who are not the child's legal guardian and by juvenile sexual offenders.

Failure to report a known instance of child abuse, child sexual abuse, neglect, or abandonment of any kind committed on the property of the University or during an event or function sponsored by the University is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. In addition, the failure of a University administrator to report suspected abuse potentially exposes the University to a $1 million fine.

Please note that, in addition to the above institutional requirements for the University’s administrators, all people in Florida have an independent and individual obligation to report known or suspected child abuse, neglect and abandonment to the Department of Children and Family Services via the Abuse Hotline or Online service.

Definitions

Administrator—the President, Vice Presidents, Deans, Director of Campus Safety, the Athletic Director, and the Title IX Coordinator.

Child— any person under the age of eighteen. This includes reporting suspected abuse committed by adults who are not the child's legal guardian and by juvenile sexual offenders.

Child Abuse—means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child's physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired. Abuse of a child includes acts or omissions. Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.

Child Neglect—neglect occurs when a child is deprived of, or is allowed to be deprived of, necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment or a child is permitted to live in an environment when such deprivation or environment causes the child's physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired or to be in danger of being significantly impaired.

Procedures/Guidelines

To report possible child abuse using the Abuse Hotline please go to: reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us, call toll-free +1 800-962-2873 (TDD +1 800-453-5145), or report by fax to +1 800-914-0004.

Reports may be made (24 hours a day, 365 days a year) by phone using a toll-free telephone number, by fax, or by web-based report. For more information and tips on successful reporting visit myflfamilies.com.

To learn more about this policy or the supporting procedures, please contact Campus Safety.

Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018