All University employees and volunteers who interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee Minor Children in University sponsored programs, activities, and/or residential facilities that either witness or suspect that a Minor Child may have been abused or neglected.
The purpose of this Policy is to provide guidance to University employees and volunteers regarding the reporting of suspected cases of Child Abuse and Neglect and to affirm the commitment of the University to the protection of the safety and welfare of children who visit campus or participate in University-sanctioned events.
Child Abuse or Neglect: Per KRS 600.020 Abused or Neglected Child means a child whose health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm when his parent, guardian, or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child: (a) Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical or emotional injury as defined in this section by other than accidental means; (b) Creates or allows to be created a risk of physical or emotional injury as defined in this section to the child by other than accidental means; (c) Engages in a pattern of conduct that renders the parent incapable of caring for the immediate and ongoing needs of the child including, but not limited to, parental incapacity due to alcohol and other drug abuse as defined in KRS 222.005(12); (d) Continuously or repeatedly fails or refuses to provide essential parental care and protection for the child, considering the age of the child; (e) Commits or allows to be committed an act of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or prostitution upon the child; (f) Creates or allows to be created a risk that an act of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or prostitution will be committed upon a child; (g) Abandons or exploits the child; (h) Does not provide the child with adequate care, supervision, food, clothing, shelter, education or medical care necessary for the child’s well-being. A parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child legitimately practicing the person’s religious beliefs shall not be considered a negligent parent solely because of failure to provide specified medical treatment for a child for that reason alone. This exception shall not preclude a court from ordering necessary medical services for a child; or (i) Fails to make sufficient progress toward identified goals as set forth in the court approved case plan to allow for the safe return of the child to the parent that results in the child remaining committed to the Cabinet and remaining in foster care for fifteen (15) of the most recent twenty-two (22) months;
Dependent Child: Per KRS 600.020(19), Dependent Child means any child, other than an abused or neglected child, who is under improper care, custody, control, or guardianship that is not due to an intentional act of the parent, guardian, or person exercising custodial control or supervision of the child.
Minor Child//Children: any individual under the age of 18.
Volunteer—any uncompensated individual who is authorized by a University division or unit to perform humanitarian, charitable or public services on behalf of the University, or to gain personal or professional experience in specific endeavors.
Thomas More University employees and Volunteers who interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee Minor Children in University sponsored programs, activities, and/or residential facilities, have an affirmative obligation to report immediately suspected cases of Child Abuse or Neglect in accordance with the reporting procedures set forth in this Policy. Moreover, any member of the University community may report a concern if they have reasonable suspicion that a Minor Child has been abused or neglected. The duty to report may not apply to certain communications where a recognized legal duty of confidentiality applies.
Any individual who in good faith makes or participates in making a report under the law is immune from any civil liability or criminal prosecution. In addition, any person who in good faith makes or participates in making a report under this Policy is free from any reprisal at the University that might otherwise result from compliance with the Policy.
Failure to report in violation of this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or dismissal pursuant to the University’s applicable disciplinary policies. In addition, any employee or student convicted of any charge related to child abuse or neglect in connection with their employment or on campus activities will be subject to applicable disciplinary policies and procedures, which may lead to termination or dismissal. The matter will also be referred to law enforcement.
Mandatory Crime Reporters Policy
Reports of suspected Child Abuse or Neglect may be made to a local police department, prosecutors, or the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services.
To report Child Abuse and Neglect committed by a parent, guardian, or person exercising custodial control or supervision of a Minor Child, contact the Department for Community Based Services at the toll-free child abuse hotline: (877) 597-2331.
In addition, Campus Safety must be notified at 859-341-4867 so that appropriate University action may be taken.
The confidentiality of a report of suspected Child Abuse or Neglect, including the identity of an individual who makes a report under this Policy, the individual suspected of Child Abuse or Neglect, and the Minor Child who may have been abused or neglected, will be protected consistent with relevant Federal and State laws.
This is a new policy.
There are no appendices to this Policy.
Laura Custer, Director of Human Resources
Dr. Kathleen Jagger, Acting President