Illinois Wesleyan University recognizes a fundamental obligation to protect minor children in its care from sexual abuse. Accordingly, the University has adopted certain safeguards to better protect minor children when they are on University premises participating in University programs and activities designed to include minors, or when they are in the care of University staff. The University and its employees shall comply with applicable federal and state laws to provide a safe environment in which children can learn, discover, and achieve their full potential. This includes compliance with the "Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act" and the University’s Sexual Misconduct/Title IX Policy.
All University faculty, staff, and volunteers are expected to be familiar with and comply with the provisions of this policy and any related University or campus policies and/or procedures, as applicable. In addition, non-university organizations and entities that operate non-university programs and activities on campus (i.e. Registered Student Organizations, lessees, non-sponsored activities, etc.), shall be familiar with this Policy and shall take appropriate precautions to protect minors participating in or attending their programs and activities.
Duty to Cooperate
- All University community members shall cooperate with investigations of alleged child abuse/neglect, including DCFS initiated, law enforcement initiated, and/or internal investigations.
- All members of the University Community shall also cooperate with investigations of alleged violations of this policy and any applicable campus procedures.
Duty to Complete Education
- Upon hire for employment, placement in a volunteer opportunity, or engagement to provide a non-University-sponsored activity, each member of the University community will complete the assigned training regarding the requirements of this “Protection of Minors” policy.
- All members of the University community must sign an acknowledgment certifying their understanding of reporting responsibilities (Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status )
Duty to Report
To Supervisor or Director of the Program
- All members of the University community shall report suspected child abuse or neglect to their direct supervisor, or to the director of the program with which they are participating.
To Local Police
- All members of the University community shall report suspected child abuse or neglect to the Bloomington Police Department (309-820-8888).
- In emergencies or when an incident involves an injury, all members of the University community are expected to call the police and the appropriate University office.
- The Illinois “Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act” mandates that all personnel of an institution of higher education must immediately report cases of suspected child abuse or neglect of minors (children under the age of 18) directly to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) at 1-800-25-ABUSE (1-800-252-2873) as soon as abuse or neglect is suspected.
- The duty to report includes minors who are currently enrolled at the University or accepted for enrollment, and minors who are not enrolled or accepted for enrollment at the University but who participate in a University program or activity designed to include minors or who otherwise become known to University personnel in their official or professional capacity.
To a Medical Examiner or Coroner
- All members of the University community who have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has died as a result of abuse or neglect shall immediately report the suspicion to the appropriate medical examiner or coroner.
Duty to Submit to Background Checks
- All staff, faculty, and volunteers for any University-sponsored activity are required to under a criminal background check and sex offender registry checks following campus procedures.
- Campuses may require other checks as deemed appropriate (e.g. motor vehicle report for an individual who will transport children).
Campus and Program Safeguards
- The University will maintain a current report of University activities and non-sponsored activities designed for minors not enrolled or accepted for enrollment at the University.
- Activities and programs to be recorded on the report include, but are not limited to camps, summer programs, lessons, performances, and tutoring.
- The report must at a minimum detail program location/facility, dates and times, age range of participants, and a planned number of participants.
- For each program listed, contact information must be provided for two responsible individuals who will make arrangements for the safety of minors and other participants in the event of an emergency.
The following guidelines apply for any activity (“Program”) occurring on University property or any Program occurring off University property that is sponsored by the University:
If the Program Includes Housing
- adults will not be housed in the same room as a minor unless they are the parent/legal guardian of the minor
- adult supervisor rooms will be spread evenly throughout the Program housing, with a minimum of one supervisor room per floor
- individual bedrooms will not be used to conduct meetings
Program Staff (including personnel and volunteers)
- will conduct any meetings or conversations with participants in a public space, visible to and in the presence of other Program staff.
- The need for privacy or confidentiality may be achieved by using an area of a larger room but away from other activities or using a room with a clear wall to be fully visible at all times by the Program Staff in the next room.
- Program staff will not transport participants alone in a personal or University vehicle.
- At least one other Program staff member must be in the vehicle and the Program Director must approve any trips in advance.
- Any activity conducted off of University property will require a minimum of two Program staff.
- Program staff will collect and maintain the list of approved persons to pick up or visit a minor during the duration of the Program.
- Program staff will not share their cell phone number with minors, nor partake in texting, calling, or other forms of telecommunication with minors.
- Program staff will not connect with or contact minors through any social media platform using personal accounts.
Retaliation Will Not Be Tolerated
- Retaliatory acts against members of the University community who make good faith reports or complaints under this policy, and/or who cooperate in the investigation and handling of such complaints, even if it is found that no violation of the policy has occurred, will not be tolerated.
- Any member of the University community who believes they are the subject of retaliation or reprisal should contact the Human Resources office.
- The University will promptly investigate all complaints of alleged retaliation or reprisal.
Sanctions for Violation of Policy
- Failure to comply with the provisions of this policy and any related campus procedures may result in the cancellation of an event and/or discipline under the Student Handbook, the Faculty Handbook, or the Exempt or Non-exempt Employee Handbook, up to and including dismissal from the University, termination of employment, issuance of “no-trespass” notices, and/or disqualification for participation in future volunteer activities.
- Knowingly making a false report or complaint under this policy, or knowingly providing false or intentionally misleading information during an investigation may also result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the University and/or termination of employment.
Child Abuse and Neglect
- “Abused child” and “neglected child” are defined in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act 325 ILCS 5/3.
- Please consult the statute for a full definition.
- In general, abuse includes the maltreatment of a child under the age of 18 by a parent, step-parent, guardian, foster parent, immediate family member, paramour of the natural parent, any individual residing in the same home, any person responsible for the child’s welfare at the time of the alleged abuse, or any person who came to know the child through an official capacity or a position of trust.
- Child abuse can be physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or neglect; as defined by 325 ILCS 5/3:
- includes when a parent or a person responsible for the child’s welfare inflicts, causes to be inflicted, or allows to be inflicted a physical injury, by other than accidental means, which causes death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health, or loss or impairment of any bodily function
- creates a substantial risk of physical injury, commits an act of torture, inflicts excessive corporal punishment, and commits or allows to be committed female genital mutilation
- causes the selling, transfer, distribution, or giving of illegal drugs to a child; or commits or allows to be committed involuntary servitude, involuntary sexual servitude of a minor, or human trafficking.
- includes when a parent or a person responsible for the child’s welfare commits or allows to be committed any of the following: transmission of a sexual disease; sexual penetration; sexual molestation; sexual exploitation and/or places a minor at risk of sexual harm.
- includes when a parent or a person responsible for the child deprives or fails to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, needed medical care, or supervision.
- A child is also considered neglected if he or she is subjected to an environment that is injurious insofar as (i) the child’s environment creates a likelihood of harm to the child’s health, physical well-being, or welfare and (ii) the likely harm to the child is the result of a blatant disregard of parent or caretaker responsibilities.
Members of the University Community
- All University staff and faculty, volunteers, University contractors, and those responsible for non-University-sponsored activities.
- A person under the age of eighteen (18).
- An individual retained by the University under contract to provide services and/or support for programs and activities designed to include minors.
- Includes but is not limited to all University faculty, staff, and students in their capacity as student-employees.
- An uncompensated individual who is authorized by a University department or unit to:
- perform civil, charitable, or humanitarian services related to the business of or in support of activities of the University designed to include minors
- gain personal or professional experience in specific endeavors.
- Volunteers perform services without a promise, expectation, or receipt of any compensation for services performed, including a promise of future employment.
- This definition does not include parents or guardians accompanying their child at a program or activity and who may provide incidental service for the program or activity.