Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse Policy

Type of Policy: 
Administrative
Effective Date: 
May 2014
Last Revised: 
June 2017
Review Date: 
May 2018
Policy Owner: 
Legal Affairs and Risk Management
Contact Name: 
Kelly Cross
Contact Title: 
Youth Programs Compliance Specialist
Contact Email: 
kelly.cross@gatech.edu
Reason for Policy: 

Georgia Tech is firmly committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of minors and prompt reporting of suspected abuse or neglect of a minor. Under Georgia state law, certain Georgia Tech employees and volunteers through their employment or service to Georgia Tech are considered mandatory reporters (as defined in Policy Terms below) of abuse to minors (Georgia Code Section 19-7-5). This policy takes into account Georgia’s mandatory reporting law and outlines reporting procedures for Georgia Tech employees and volunteers.

Policy Statement: 

It is Institute policy that all Georgia Tech employees and volunteers acting in the course of their employment or service to Georgia Tech – whether or not they work directly with minors – must immediately (within 24 hours) report any reasonable suspicion or knowledge of abuse to minors, including inappropriate touching, sexual or physical abuse, child endangerment, or neglect, to:

  1. Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD), and
  2. Supervisor, Program Director, or Georgia Tech official who can take immediate action.

Immediate reporting is essential to protect all minors in any Georgia Tech program or otherwise visiting campus, no matter where the alleged abuse took place.

Non-Retaliation
The State of Georgia grants immunity for any civil or criminal liability for the making of a report, in good faith, of suspected abuse of a minor.

Georgia Tech prohibits any employee, student, or volunteer from retaliating or taking any adverse action against another employee, student, or volunteer for reporting a reasonable suspicion of sexual or physical abuse or neglect of a minor. If an individual believes he or she is being retaliated against, the individual should contact their supervisor or the Office of Human Resources.

Scope: 

This policy applies to all Georgia Tech employees and volunteers acting in the course of their employment or service to Georgia Tech.

Policy Terms: 

Adult
Any person 18 years old or older.

Child Abuse

An injury or pattern of injuries to a minor that is non-accidental. Child abuse includes sexual abuse, physical injury, child endangerment, and neglect.

  • Sexual abuse: employing, using, persuading, inducing, enticing or coercing a minor to engage in any sexual act.
  • Physical abuse: non-accidental physical injury of a minor, which can include beatings, burns, bites, fractures, bruises, welts, etc.
  • Child endangerment: intentionally allowing a child to witness the commission of a forcible felony, battery, family violence, or be present where any person is manufacturing or has intent to manufacture methamphetamine; or driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances while transporting a minor under the age of 14 years-old.
  • Neglect: when a parent or caretaker allows a minor to experience avoidable suffering or fails to provide basic essentials for physical, social, and emotional development.

Mandatory Reporter
Mandatory reporters are those that are required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect of minors to the appropriate authorities.

Under Georgia state law (Georgia Code Section 19-7-5), certain Georgia Tech employees and volunteers are considered mandatory reporters.

Those whose communications may otherwise be privileged or confidential by law are also considered mandatory reporters and must report child abuse under Georgia state law (e.g., licensed professional and pastoral counselors).

Minor/Child
A person under the age of 18.

Volunteer
A person participating on an unpaid basis and with a set scope of duties in a Georgia Tech structured volunteer program.

Procedures: 

5.1 Reporting Procedures

Reporting to GTPD
Employees and volunteers must immediately (within 24 hours) contact GTPD, by calling 404-894-2500, when they know about, hear about, or suspect abuse or neglect of a minor in the course of their employment or service to Georgia Tech.

Georgia has a prescribed statewide reporting process through the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). GTPD will navigate the DFCS system for those reporting, after being given as much specific information as possible for the DFCS report. Reports may be made to GTPD confidentially (to the extent provided by state law). GTPD must report to DFCS within 24 hours of receipt of an incident report.

GTPD will investigate all child abuse reports which occur on the Georgia Tech campus, in addition to reporting to DFCS. For reports of child abuse outside of the state of Georgia, GTPD will report to the local police jurisdiction.

Reporting to Supervisor, Program Director, or GT Official
In addition to calling GTPD, employees and volunteers must also report suspected child abuse to their supervisor, program director, or a Georgia Tech official as soon as possible.

The supervisor, program director, or Georgia Tech official will take immediate action in order to protect the minor and work with Office of Human Resources and/or GTPD during any investigation resulting from the report.

While an investigation is conducted, the person being investigated must not have any contact with minors in any Georgia Tech program. 

Enforcement: 

Failure of mandatory reporters to report suspected child abuse is a violation of state law and mandatory reporters may be subject to criminal penalties.

Violations of this policy could result in disciplinary action for Georgia Tech employees and volunteers in accordance with Institute procedures.

Related Documents: 
Policy History: 
Revision Date Author Description
05/2014 Legal Affairs and Risk Management New Policy
05/2017 Legal Affairs and Risk Management Updated per 2016 Georgia Code

  

 

 

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