FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
University Employees Reporting Child Abuse, Neglect, and Sexual Assault
Minnesota law requires persons in certain professions to report suspected child abuse, neglect, or sexual assault to law enforcement or social services authorities. For those persons, failure to report can be a crime. Many University employees are subject to this mandatory reporting law. The University, however, requires ALL of its employees to report abuse, neglect, or sexual assault of children to authorities.
This information is provided by the Office of General Counsel, and the Office of Human Resources.
- What must be reported?
A reporter must report when the reporter knows or has reason to believe that a child is being physically or sexually abused or neglected, or has been abused or neglected within the past three years. A child is a person under 18 years of age. This obligation to applies to any abuse or neglect that a reporter has witnessed, as well as abuse or neglect that one reasonably suspects or has learned about.
- Who must report?
As a matter of policy, the University requires all of its employees to report. As a matter of state law, the mandatory reporting requirement applies to a narrower group of employees - it applies to anyone who is a professional or professional's delegate engaged in the practice of the healing arts, social services, hospital administration, psychological or psychiatric treatment, child care, education, correctional supervision, probation and correctional services, or law enforcement. With regard to "education," the obligation at the University applies to all faculty, researchers, coaches, deans, and other academic administrators.
- To whom do you report?
Call 911 if you know or suspect the child is in immediate danger. If you do not reasonably suspect immediate danger, you must still report what you know to the local police department, the county sheriff, or the local county social services agency. For campuses that have their own University police department, call the University police. For other campuses, call the local police.
- When must you report?
You must call authorities as soon as possible, and within 24 hours at the latest. You must follow up with a written report within 72 hours (excluding weekends and holidays).
- Is reporting to a University supervisor enough?
No. You must make a report directly to the police, county sheriff's office, or local county social services agency. The reporting obligation applies to each mandated reporter individually. Keep your University supervisor informed of your report.
- What if you don't report?
If you are a person subject to Minnesota's mandatory reporting law, you could be prosecuted for committing a crime by failing to report. Any University employee who fails to report, regardless of a legal obligation under Minnesota's mandatory reporting law, may be disciplined for violating University policy requiring reporting.
- What protection is there for reporters?
Minnesota law provides for immunity from criminal and civil liability for persons making good faith reports. Also, the University cannot retaliate against you for making a good faith report. Your identity is confidential and can be disclosed only if you consent or by court order or court procedure. You may be asked to testify if there are hearings.