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Child Abuse Prevention Measures Adopted

Reporting of suspected abuse required

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October 14, 2013 | by Alan K. Cubbage

EVANSTON, Ill. --- As part of its continuing efforts to protect the safety and well-being of its students, faculty, staff and visitors, particularly those students and visitors who are minors, Northwestern University has adopted new policies regarding reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.

The policies include training for everyone who has regular contact with children. In addition, Illinois law states that all University employees are “mandated reporters” of suspected cases of child abuse and/or neglect. That means that all faculty, staff and students who are student employees -- even those who do not have regular contact with children -- must go to a web site and acknowledge their status as a mandated reporter. 

Northwestern employees who do regularly work with children also need to take the Department of Children and Family Services Online Training for Mandated Reporters. The training is available online at any time.

“Protection of minors, especially from physical or sexual abuse, is a core value of Northwestern University,” said Pam Beemer, associate vice president for human resources, who led the University’s Child Protection and Safety Task Force.

The key requirement of the University policy and Illinois law is that any member of the University community who has reasonable cause to believe that a child may be abused or neglected must immediately contact the Department of Children and Family Services at

1-800-25ABUSE (1-800-252-2873). In the case of an emergency, the person must also immediately contact University Police at 847-491-3456 (Evanston) or 312-503-3456 (Chicago) or the local police at 911. 

The full policy is available.

“We understand that requiring that each employee of the University to complete the DCFS Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status form is a new obligation. However, it is required by state law, and we have made it as easy as possible by having the form available online,” Beemer said.

“Northwestern is committed to the safety and security of everyone on our campuses, both members of our community and visitors, and especially children,” Beemer continued. “We hope everyone will join us in these important efforts.”

Topics: University