UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State has finalized a new administrative policy, AD-72, “Reporting Suspected Child Abuse.” The policy provides guidance to University employees regarding mandated reporting requirements according to the University and the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law. In conjunction with this new policy release, revisions and clarifications to AD-39, the administrative policy regarding minors on campus, have been made and released.
These and other new policies and adjustments to existing ones are part of a focused and concerted effort by the University to become an academic and research leader nationwide in the protection of children.
The new policy for reporting suspected child abuse states, in part, that all University employees must complete mandated reporter training annually through the Office of Human Resources’ Center for Workplace Learning and Performance. In addition, if any University employee willfully fails to report a case of suspected child abuse, it will result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
Mandated reporter training was initiated in April for those who interact directly with children, particularly those working at summer camps or offering programming for minors. Online training is being developed and will be offered beginning in the fall for all employees. As of early June, approximately 1,900 Penn State employees have received the training, and more than 60 training sessions have been scheduled through the summer, with more requests for scheduled training received on a daily basis.
Policy AD-39 has received additional adjustments, as anticipated by Office of Human Resources officials. The current edition of the policy, which addresses minors on campus, reflects feedback from specialized units whose work requires separate policy language because of the nature of their work. These include medical students, faculty and practitioners, as well as legal students and faculty who may represent minors as clients through legal clinics. Separate policies covering these specific situations are currently in the process of development.
All current University policies may be found at http://guru.psu.edu.
Jill Shockey, Penn State University