Protecting Children From Abuse

PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM ABUSE

Q.1 How do I report suspected child abuse that has any connection to the University?

A. Anyone affiliated with the University who has reasonable cause to suspect child abuse, including but not limited to sexual abuse, shall make an immediate and direct report to ChildLine either electronically at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis or by calling 1-800-932-0313. Immediately thereafter, the individual must also make an immediate and direct report to the University Police or the Office of General Counsel. Retaliation is strictly prohibited against anyone who makes a good faith report of suspected child abuse or who participates in a related investigation. More information on reporting child abuse is available here: http://keepkidssafe.pa.gov/.

 

Q.2 What are key phone numbers I should be aware of for reporting child abuse?

  • PA Department of Human Services ChildLine for Abuse Reporting: 1-800-932-0313
  • Police: 412-624-2121
  • Office of General Counsel: 412-624-5674 
  • Off-Campus Emergency: 911

 

Q.3 What is the definition of a “child” subject to Pennsylvania’s child protection law?

A. “An individual under 18 years of age.” 

 

Q.4 Where can I receive training on preventing, recognizing, and reporting child abuse?

A. If you will have direct contact with children, the University recommends that you are trained on the protection of children. One place you may receive training on recognizing and reporting child abuse is through the following online program: www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu. The PA Department of Human Services collaborated with the University’s School of Social Work, Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center in developing this free, publically available training program. Once the training is complete, you should print out the certificate of completion and send it to Michelle R. Fullem, Director of Recruiting and Client Services, Office of Human Resources, University of Pittsburgh, 100 Craig Hall, 200 S. Craig Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (mrs100@pitt.edu)

Moreover, the PA Department of Human Services and each county agency will conduct a continuing publicity and education program for the citizens of this Commonwealth aimed at the prevention of child abuse and child neglect. The Department of Human Services will provide information related to the recognition and reporting of child abuse on its website in forms; including, but not limited to, printable booklets and brochures, educational videos, and internet-based interactive training exercises. More information from the Department of Human Services on training requirements and services is available here: http://www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov/training/index.htm

 

Q.5 Who must obtain and submit child protection clearances?

A. New employees and appointees – Effective December 31, 2014, prior to commencement of employment or appointment, all new University employees and appointees must satisfactorily obtain and present to Human Resources the following three child protection clearances: 1. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Child Abuse History Clearance; 2. Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check and 3. FBI Criminal Record Check. The State has posted information on how to obtain these three clearances here: http://www.dhs.state.pa.us/findaform/childabusehistoryclearanceforms/index.htm. Additional information from the Office of Human Resources is posted here:   http://www.hr.pitt.edu/forms. Under limited circumstances, an employee or appointee who has applied for, but not yet received, all three clearances may be allowed up to a 90 day provisional period if certain strict requirements are met and if the individual is not permitted by their supervisors to work alone with children during this period. Please consult with Human Resources about the necessary requirements for a provisional period.

B. Volunteers and vendors – If you are a volunteer, either for the University or for a third party conducting an event on University operated or controlled facilities (“Volunteer”), and/or an individual who provides a program, activity or service to or at the University or on University controlled property (“Vendor”), and you will have direct contact with children, you must have the: (i) Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check, (ii) Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Child Abuse History Clearance, and (iii) FBI Criminal Record Check.

Volunteers for the University must obtain and submit the clearances to Human Resources in the same manner set forth above for new employees and appointees. A limited exception exists whereby, under certain conditions, Volunteers who have lived in Pennsylvania for the past 10 years do not need to obtain the FBI Criminal Record Check. Please consult with Human Resources about the necessary requirements to invoke this exception. Volunteers for the University shall provide the clearances to the University in advance of working on campus or on University controlled property so that the University can review and determine whether the Volunteer may be permitted to work on campus consistent with Question 6.A below.

Vendors must obtain the same three clearances for every employee or Volunteer who may have direct contact with children and shall provide them to the University in advance of working on campus or on University controlled property so that the University can review and determine whether the Vendor employee may be permitted work on campus consistent with Question 6.A below.

Recertification  – By law, those individuals who have previously submitted child protection clearances must obtain and submit new ones within 3 years of the date of their most recent clearance or, if currently older than three years, by December 31, 2015.

Existing employees, volunteers and appointees who commenced service prior to December 31, 2014 – If an individual has previously submitted any one of the three child protection clearances to the University in the past, then the recertification requirements set forth above will apply. By law, all others with “direct contact” with children must satisfactorily obtain and present the same three clearances required of new employees by no later than December 31, 2015. The legal definition of “direct contact with children” is as follows: “The care, supervision, guidance or control of children or routine  interaction with children.”

Q.6 What child abuse records or criminal convictions constitute grounds for denying employment or volunteer service for individuals with direct contact with children?

A. Employment or Volunteer service involving direct contact with children must be denied if the Department of Human Services has verified that the individual is named in the Statewide database as the perpetrator of a founded report of child abuse committed within the past five-years, or if the State Police or FBI Criminal Record checks indicate that the individual has been convicted of one or more of the  following offenses under Pennsylvania law or an offense similar in nature under Federal law, the law of another state or the law of any other foreign or domestic jurisdiction:

(1) An offense under one or more of the following provisions of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes:

A. Chapter 25 (relating to criminal homicide).

B. Section 2702 (relating to aggravated assault).

C. Section 2709.1 (relating to stalking).

D. Section 2901 (relating to kidnapping).

E. Section 2902 (relating to unlawful restraint).

F. Section 3121 (relating to rape).

G. Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault).

H. Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse).

I. Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).

J. Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).

K. Section 3126 (relating to indecent assault).

L. Section 3127 (relating to indecent exposure).

M. Section 4302 (relating to incest).

N. Section 4303 (relating to concealing death of child).

O. Section 4304 (relating to endangering welfare of children).

P. Section 4305 (relating to dealing in infant children).

Q. A felony offense under section 5902(b) (relating to prostitution and related offenses).

R. Section 5903(c) or (d) (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances).

S. Section 6301(relating to corruption of minors).

T. Section 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children).

U. The attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to commit any of the offenses set forth above.

(2) A felony offense under the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L. 233, No. 64), known as “The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act” (35 P.S. 780-101 et seq.) committed within the past five years.

 

Q.7 If I am a student, must I have child protection clearances?

A. As a general rule, students do not need to obtain child protection clearances. However, student volunteers and student employees who have direct contact with children are subject to the same child protection clearance requirements as other volunteers and employees. Moreover, students who will have “direct contact” with children in connection with their academic program will be required to obtain child protection clearances. Students should refer to their school or departmental requirements that are usually found in the school’s student handbook.

 

Q.8 Must employees and volunteers who have direct contact with children report new arrests, convictions or substantiated child abuse?

A. Yes. The law requires an employee or volunteer who has direct contact with children to provide written notice within 72 hours of any arrest or conviction that would constitute grounds for denying employment or participation in a program, activity or service, or who is named as a perpetrator in a founded or indicated report of child abuse. A list of the offenses that would constitute grounds for reporting an arrest or a conviction is listed below Question 6 above.  Any written reports should be submitted to: Michelle R. Fullem, Director of Recruiting and Client Services, Office of Human Resources, University of Pittsburgh, 100 Craig Hall, 200 S. Craig Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (mrs100@pitt.edu).

 

Q.9 Where can I get more information on protecting children from abuse and related requirements?

A.  The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has posted information at: http://keepkidssafe.pa.gov/.  The University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center has posted information at: http://www.pacwrc.pitt.edu/. Questions about University child protection processes and procedures should be directed to your responsibility center’s administrator or to the Office of Human Resources. The University also will form a committee to review and revise policies and procedures consistent with the requirements of Pennsylvania’s new child protection law and evolving best practices.