Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

Policy

The protection of minors (any person under the age of 18 years), especially from physical or sexual abuse, is a core value of Northwestern University. Every member of the community has an obligation to comply with our policy. This policy, and the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, states that all University employees are mandated reporters of suspected cases of child abuse and/or neglect. Students are also obligated to report.

Form

To acknowledge your status as a mandated reporter, please access the appropriate link below to complete the form:

Printable PDF in English or Spanish: After you have signed and dated the form, please give the form to your manager who will electronically attest for you. Managers, please keep the paper form for your records.

Training and Certification

All employees who have regular contact with children through their affiliation with Northwestern are strongly encouraged to take the DCFS Online Training for Mandated Reporters, which is available anytime and takes 60-90 minutes to complete. Employees will need to register for an account on the DCFS training page upon their first visit to the training module.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (See Details in Full Policy)

University policy requires reporting parties to follow these steps:

  1. In an emergency situation, in addition to contacting DCFS, immediately contact the Northwestern University Police Department (847-491-3456 in Evanston) or (312-503-3456 in Chicago), or the local police at 911.
  2. In all cases, any University community member having reasonable cause to believe that a child may be abused or neglected shall immediately make a report to the DCFS by calling their hotline at 1-800-25ABUSE (1-800-252-2873). The role of a reporting party is not to investigate the matter, it is to report what is known.
  3. After contacting DCFS (and police if necessary), the individual making the report shall also immediately notify:
    a. his/her supervisor, in the case of faculty, staff or student employees
    or
    b. the Dean of Students, in the case of a report made by a student
    c. if the reporting party learns of suspected abuse or neglect in connection with a privileged relationship and is uncertain about their ability to report internally within the University, the reporting party should contact the Office of General Counsel (847-491-5605) for advice.
  4. The DCFS telephone report must be verified in writing within 48 hours by completing the Written Confirmation of Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect Report: Mandated Reporters PDF Icon DCFS form.
  5. Individuals who make a report shall cooperate with the investigating agency and/or police. University personnel must verify each investigator’s identification before providing information regarding the alleged case of child abuse and/or neglect.

Consequences of Noncompliance

Any University employee or student who fails to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect or who fails to cooperate with the investigating agency and/or police in accordance with the policy shall be subject to discipline up to and including discharge or exclusion from the University. Knowingly transmitting a false report or, in the case of mandated reporters, knowing and willful failure to report can also result in criminal sanctions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Northwestern University’s policy for the reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect?

A: The protection of minors (any person under the age of 18 years), especially from physical or sexual abuse, is a core value of Northwestern University. Every member of the community has an obligation to comply with the policy. This policy, and the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, states that all University employees are mandated reporters of suspected cases of child abuse and/or neglect.

Q: What is required of me under this policy?

A: In addition to reporting suspected cases of child abuse and/or neglect, you are also required to acknowledge your status as a mandated reporter if you are a University employee. In compliance with Northwestern’s policy, you must complete the Illinois DCFS Acknowledgment of Mandated Reporter Status form if you are an employee. All employees who have regular contact with children through their affiliation with Northwestern need to take the DCFS Online Training for Mandated Reporters, which is available anytime and takes 60-90 minutes to complete.

Q: Who is required to complete the Illinois DCFS Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status form?

A: All employees are required to complete this form.

Q: How do I complete the Illinois DCFS Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status form?

A: To acknowledge your status as a mandated reporter, please access the appropriate link below to complete the form:

Printable PDF in English or Spanish: After you have signed and dated the form, please give the form to your manager who will electronically attest for you. Managers, please keep the paper form for your records.

Q: When do I complete the Illinois DCFS Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status form?

A: If you have not completed the automated version of this form through FASIS Self-Service, you should do so immediately.

Q: How can I learn more about my responsibilities as a mandated reporter?

A: All employees who have regular contact with children through their affiliation with Northwestern need to take the DCFS Online Training for Mandated Reporters, which is available anytime and takes 60-90 minutes to complete. Employees will need to register for an account on the DCFS training page upon their first visit to the training module.

Q: What if I don’t complete the Illinois DCFS Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status form?

A: All employees must complete the Illinois DCFS Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status form as a requirement for continued employment with the University. Any regular employee not complying with this requirement will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Any temporary employee not complying with this requirement will not be permitted to continue employment with Northwestern University.

Q: Whom should I contact if I have additional questions about this policy and its requirements?

A: Human Resources: Chicago 312-503-8481, Evanston 847-491-7507, or report-child-abuse@northwestern.edu.

If you have technical issues when completing the form in FASIS Self-Service, please contact the FASIS Help Desk at fasishelp@northwestern.edu or 847-467-4800.

If you have questions about training, please contact Learning & Organization Development at joannamika@northwestern.edu or 847-467-1617.

Additional Information