The University of Wisconsin System Administration prioritizes safety and strives to provide a safe learning environment for everyone. Children come into contact with UW System Administration through various programs and events. Executive Order #54, signed by the Governor on December 19, 2011 requires that all University of Wisconsin System employees report incidents of child abuse and neglect.
The University of Wisconsin System Administration prioritizes safety and strives to provide a safe learning environment for everyone. Children come into contact with UW System Administration through various programs and events.
On December 19, 2011, the Governor signed Executive Order #54, which requires that all University of Wisconsin System employees must report incidents of child abuse and neglect. In addition, this policy extends that obligation to volunteers and contractors performing services for UW System Administration.
- “Abuse” of a child includes any of the following:
- Physical injury inflicted on a child by other than accidental means. “Physical injury” includes but is not limited to lacerations, fractured bones, burns, internal injuries, severe or frequent bruising or great bodily harm.
- Sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a child under the age of 16 or with a 16 or 17 year-old child without his or her consent.
- Sexual exploitation of a child. Sexual exploitation of a child occurs when a person employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces any child to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of recording or displaying the conduct or records or displays a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Sexual exploitation of a child also occurs when a person produces, performs in, profits from, promotes, or imports into the state, reproduces, advertises, sells, distributes, or possesses with intent to sell or distribute, any recording of a child engaging in sexually explicit content.
- Permitting, allowing or encouraging a child to violate the statute prohibiting prostitution.
- Causing a child to view or listen to sexual activity for purposes of sexual arousal or sexual gratification.
- Exposing genitals or pubic area to a child or exposing a child’s genitals or pubic area for purposes of sexual arousal or sexual gratification.
- Manufacturing meth amphetamine with a child present, or in a child’s home (including the premises of a child’s home or in a motor vehicle located on the premises of a child’s home), or under any other circumstances in which a reasonable person should have known that the manufacture would be seen, smelled, or heard by a child.
- Emotional damage for which the child’s parent, guardian or legal custodian has neglected, refused or been unable for reasons other than poverty to obtain the necessary treatment or to take steps to a meliorate the symptoms. “Emotional damage” is defined as harm to a child’s psychological or intellectual functioning and is evidenced by one or more of the following characteristics exhibited to a severe degree: anxiety, depression, withdrawal; outward aggressive behavior; or a substantial and observable change in behavior, emotional response or cognition that is not within the normal range for the child’s age and stage of development.
- “Child” is a person who is less than 18 years of age.
- “Employee” is any UW System Administration employee.
- “Neglect” is failure, refusal or inability on the part of a caregiver, for reasons other than poverty, to provide necessary care, food, clothing, medical or dental care or shelter so as to seriously endanger the physical health of the child.
III. Reporting Requirements
- Executive Order #54 requires that UW System Administration employees make a report of child abuse or neglect immediately if, in the course of employment, a UW
System Administration employee observes an incident or threat of child abuse or neglect, or learns of an incident or threat of child abuse or neglect, and the employee has reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur.
- This policy hereby establishes the requirements that volunteers and contractors performing services for UW System Administration abide by the same reporting obligations as employees (as stated in Section III.A above) to the maximum extent feasible.
- Collecting additional information that is readily available (such as talking to coworkers who also interact with that child) or verifying that the information learned meets the criteria for reporting may be appropriate, but any such action must be conducted promptly. You should not delay making a report in order to gather evidence; the agency to whom you make the report will determine whether such an investigation is warranted.
- A report must be made personally or by telephone to any of the following:
- Dane County Department of Human Services, Children, Youth & Families Intake, 2322 South Park Street, Madison, WI 53713; Office Hours: (608) 261-KIDS (5437), After Hours: (608) 255-6067
- Madison Police Department, 211 South Carroll Street, Madison, WI 53703; (608) 261-9694
- Dane County Sheriff’s Office, 115 West Doty Street, Madison, WI 53703; (608) 284-6800
- UW-Madison Police, 1429 Monroe Street, Madison, WI 53711; (608) 264-COPS (2677).
- Executive Order #54 does not specifically address whether an employee must report information learned about an adult who was the victim of childhood abuse or neglect. Because making such a report may raise issues relating to state and federal law and professional codes of ethics, before making any report involving an adult who was the victim of child abuse or neglect, employees should contact the Office of General Counsel at the following telephone number: 608-262-2995.
- Child abuse or neglect involving UW System Administration includes:
- An allegation against a UW System Administration employee, agent, volunteer, or contractor, or
- The suspected child abuse or neglect occurred in or at a UW System Administration facilities or land, or
- The suspected child abuse or neglect occurred during or in connection with a UW System Administration sponsored activity
- If the reported abuse or neglect involves UW System Administration as defined in paragraph F above, then it must also be reported to the UW System Human Resources Director. Any employee may request assistance from his or her supervisor in making this report. The UW System Human Resources Director must report the abuse to law enforcement, if it involves potential criminal conduct. Directors are encouraged to discuss the allegation with legal counsel.
- A UW System Administration employee who is a mandatory reporter by profession under Wis. Stat. § 48.981(2) (e.g., health practitioner, social worker, law enforcement officer, child care provider) must continue to comply with the state mandatory reporter law requirements.
- UW System Administration employees may share information regarding suspected child abuse or neglect only with appropriate individuals, such as the agencies to whom reports are to be made, appropriate officials, and co-workers when the employee is promptly seeking additional information for a report. Beyond appropriate disclosures, employees should treat the information as sensitive and confidential.
- Questions regarding the applicability of these requirements to a particular individual or situation should be directed to the Office of General Counsel at the following number: 608-262-2995.
IV. Policy Implications and Consequences
- No UW System Administration employee making a report of child abuse or neglect in good faith may be discharged from employment, disciplined or otherwise discriminated against in regard to employment, or threatened with any such treatment because that employee made a report in good faith.
- Any UW System Administration employee who fails to report suspected child abuse or neglect in violation of this policy may be found to be in violation of an applicable work rule and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
V. Responsibilities of UW System Administration
- Criminal background checks will be performed pursuant to the background check policies for UW System Administration, and must be conducted on employees, volunteers, and contractors who have regular contact with children in the course of performing duties or services for UW System Administration or in connection with a UW System Administration sponsored activity.
- All contractual arrangements must require the contractor to supply employees that have passed criminal background checks, if such employees will have regular contact with children.
- To the maximum extent feasible, UW System Administration will include, in all written contracts for the provision of services by independent contractors, an obligation to report incidents of child abuse and neglect. Whenever possible, written contracts shall include the following:
If, in the course of providing services to UW System Administration, contractor (or its agent or employee) observes an incident of child abuse or neglect, or learns of an
incident of child abuse or neglect and the contractor (or its agent or employee) has reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or will occur,
contractor (or its agent or employee) must make a report of that child abuse or neglect to law enforcement or to a county social service agency. If the suspected child abuse or neglect involves UW System Administration (See Section III.F. of UW System Administration’s Policy on Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect), the contractor (or its agent or employee) shall also report that abuse to UW System Human Resources.
- UW System Administration employees and volunteers will receive training or education on the subject of child abuse and neglect; this training or education may differ depending up on (1) the type and degree of contact the individual may have with children on campus or (2) other training or education regarding mandatory reporting an individual might receive due to his or her profession.
- UW System Administration employees and volunteers will be informed through handbooks, institutional websites, or other appropriate means about:
- Executive Order #54;
- UW System Administration policies and procedures;
- Contact information for the local county department of human services and local law enforcement.
- UW System Administration will provide and/or post information in appropriate areas to notify children who to contact if they are a victim of child abuse or neglect.
- Any documentation related to a UW System Administration employee or volunteer report of child abuse or neglect will be stored and maintained in a secure location.