Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

Scope

This policy applies to all Yale faculty members, staff members, students, trainees, and volunteers (“members of the Yale community”).

Policy Statement

Yale is committed to protecting children who use the Yale campus or participate in Yale programs (as defined below) by (i) ensuring that members of the Yale community who are mandated reporters understand and meet their legal obligation to report suspected child abuse or neglect, and (ii) encouraging members of the Yale community who are not mandated reporters to report suspected child abuse or neglect and to provide them with guidance in doing so.

Reason for the Policy

Children use the Yale campus and participate in Yale programs (as defined below) throughout the year and, in the course of their Yale employment or other Yale-affiliated activities, members of the Yale community may encounter children who show signs of abuse or neglect.  This policy is intended to protect those children and help mandated reporters at Yale meet their legal obligations.

Definitions

Child or Minor:  Any person under 18 years of age.

Abuse:  Under Connecticut law, abuse of a child occurs when a child (i) is inflicted with a physical injury or injuries other than by accidental means, (ii) has injuries that are at variance with the history given of them, or (iii) suffers from maltreatment, including, but not limited to, malnutrition, sexual molestation or exploitation, deprivation of necessities, emotional maltreatment, or cruel punishment.

Neglect:  Under Connecticut law, neglect of a child occurs when, for reasons other than being impoverished, the child (i) has been abandoned, (ii) is being denied proper care and attention, physically, educationally, emotionally or morally, or (iii) is being permitted to live under conditions, circumstances or associations injurious to his or her well-being.

Mandated Reporters:  Persons required by Connecticut law to report or cause a report to be made when, in the ordinary course of their employment or profession, they have reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused, neglected or is in imminent risk of serious harm. In Connecticut, mandated reporters include any paid administrator, faculty member, staff member, athletic director, athletic coach or athletic trainer employed by a public or private institution of higher education who is eighteen years of age or older, excluding student employees; paid youth camp directors and assistant directors; daycare providers; physicians (including interns and residents), nurses, members of the clergy, mental health professionals; pharmacists; physical therapists; physician assistants; police officers; psychologists; elementary, middle, or high school employees; sexual assault counselors; social workers; and school coaches. See the full list of mandated reporters in Connecticut.

Yale Program:  A program that (i) includes minors and (ii) uses Yale facilities or is organized by a member of the Yale community in his or her Yale capacity.

Policy Sections

I. Obligations of Members of the Yale Community to Report Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

A.         Members of the Yale Community Who Are Mandated Reporters

1.  Under Connecticut law, mandated reporters who reasonably suspect child abuse or neglect must (i) make an oral report to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) at 1-800-842-2288 (available 24 hours per day, seven days per week) or a law enforcement agency as soon as practicable, and no later than 12 hours after having reasonable suspicion or belief that a child has been abused, neglected, or placed in imminent risk of serious harm; and (ii) submit a written report (using form DCF-136) to DCF within 48 hours after making the oral report.

2.  Under Connecticut law, a mandated reporter who fails to make these oral and written reports within the prescribed time periods may be fined and required to participate in a training program.

3.  If you do not know whether you are a mandated reporter, you may contact the Office of the General Counsel.

4.  If you wish to obtain advice before making a report, you may contact the Office of the General Counsel, so long as your effort to obtain advice does not delay your report beyond the prescribed time periods.  

B.         Members of the Yale Community Who Are Not Mandated Reporters            

1.  Students and Volunteers Who Participate in a Yale Program:  Students and volunteers who participate in a Yale Program and who reasonably suspect that a child on the Yale campus or participating in a Yale program has been abused, neglected, or placed in imminent risk of serious harm must make an oral report to DCF at 1-800-842-2288 (available 24 hours per day, seven days per week) or a law enforcement agency as soon as practicable.

2.  Students and Volunteers Who Do Not Participate in a Yale Program:  Students and volunteers who do not participate in a Yale Program but who reasonably suspect that a child on the Yale campus or participating in a Yale Program has been abused, neglected or placed in imminent risk of serious harm are strongly encouraged to make an oral report to DCF at 1-800-842-2288 (available 24 hours per day, seven days per week) or a law enforcement agency as soon as practicable.

3.  If you wish to obtain advice before making a report, you may contact the Office of the General Counsel.  

C.         All Members of the Yale Community

1.  All members of the Yale Community are strongly encouraged to view the DCF training video on identifying and responding to suspected child abuse and neglect.  (Please select the video for the “Community.”)

2.  If you have any doubts about whether or not to make a report, you should resolve those doubts in favor of making a report.

3.  If you believe a crime against a child is in progress, call 911 immediately.

4.  Under Connecticut law, if you make a report of suspected abuse or neglect, your name will not be disclosed without your written consent, except to

  • a DCF employee;
  • a law enforcement officer;
  • an appropriate state’s attorney;
  • an appropriate assistant attorney general;
  • a judge and all necessary parties in a court proceeding; and
  • a state child care licensing agency, executive director of any institution, school or facility or superintendent of schools.

5.  Under Connecticut law, a person who, in good faith, makes or does not make a report of suspected child abuse and neglect is immune from civil or criminal liability.  Connecticut law also forbids employers to interfere with the making of a report or to discharge, discriminate against, or retaliate against any employee who makes a good faith report of child abuse or neglect.

6.  Under Connecticut law, any person who makes a report of child abuse or neglect that he or she knows to be false may be fined or imprisoned.

II. Training

All members of the Yale community who participate in a Yale Program must receive appropriate training in identifying and responding to suspected child abuse and neglect, unless they have received such training as part of their professional education.  This obligation may be met by viewing the DCF training video on identifying and responding to suspected child abuse and neglect.  (Please select the video for the “Community.”)

III. Disciplinary Procedures

A person who in bad faith makes a false report or who in bad faith fails to make a report under this policy may be subject to discipline in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary procedures, as outlined in the Faculty Handbook, the Staff Personnel Policies and Practices Manual, disciplinary provisions set forth in the agreements covering bargaining units, or other applicable materials. Discipline may be imposed, up to and including termination.

Contact Information

Policy Interpretation

  • Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, 203-432-4949

Reporting Children Abuse and Neglect

  • Yale University Policy Department, 203-432-4400
  • Connecticut Department of Children and Families, 1-800-842-2288

Updated:  October 16, 2014