UNIVERSITY OF IOWA EMPLOYEE GUIDANCE ON CHILD ABUSE REPORTING
What is a "child" for child abuse reporting purposes?
A child is anyone under the age of 18.
What is my obligation to report child abuse on campus?
University employees by policy are obligated to report suspected physical and sexual child abuse in accordance with the University Physical and Sexual Abuse of Children Policy (see II-15), which requires that any employee who is aware of or suspects physical or sexual child abuse must report it to the University of Iowa Police (319-335-5022). For events occurring off campus, but in relation to University programs or property, report to local law enforcement.
As indicated below, if you are a statutory mandatory reporter because of your profession (health care, child care, mental health professional, or police) you also have your statutory obligation to report.
What if the suspected abuse is not related to my job?
The University's concern is to stop child abuse occurring on campus, or within a University program. So even if your job does not involve interaction with children, you have an obligation to report. University policy requires reporting of suspected physical or sexual child abuse, and encourages the reporting of any form of suspected child abuse in order to protect children.
Statutory mandatory reporters vs. reporters under University of Iowa policy.
Certain individuals have multiple obligations to report. So some terminology may be helpful: Statutory mandatory reporters are those persons who are obligated under Iowa Code 232 to report because of their occupation (generally: health care, child care, mental health professional, or police). Note that the obligation of statutory mandatory reporters is not limited to physical and sexual abuse.
All University of Iowa employees are policy reporters, and have an obligation to report suspected physical and sexual child abuse under University policy.
Note that there are person who, because of their roles, are designated as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs). CSAs have an obligation to report crimes to UI Police for inclusion in the annual crime report and to facilitate the issuance of a timely warning under the Federal Clery Act. Reporting suspected child abuse to the UI Police will help ensure compliance with Clery Act obligations.
I'm a statutory mandatory reporter and I already reported to DHS. Do I also have to report under the University of Iowa policy?
Yes. Reporting to UI Police assures that any necessary follow-up can occur immediately.
I'm a statutory reporter. If I report to University of Iowa Police, do I also have to report to DHS?
Yes. Employees covered as statutory mandatory reporters of child abuse under Iowa Code 232 also must report all forms of child abuse to the Department of Human Services in accordance with law. Failure of statutory mandatory reporters to report can result in criminal and civil sanctions.
Again, if you are covered as a statutory mandatory report under Iowa Code 232, you must report all forms of child abuse such as child neglect (not just physical or sexual abuse) to DHS within 24 hours.
When do I report?
If you suspect physical or sexual child abuse, report the situation as soon as possible to University of Iowa Police by calling (319) 335-5022.
What is "physical abuse"?
"Physical abuse" is defined as any non-accidental physical injury, or injury which is at variance with the history given of it, suffered by a child as the result of the acts or omissions of a person responsible for the care of the child. Common indicators could include unusual or unexplained burns, bruises, or fractures.
What is "sexual abuse"?
"Sexual abuse" is defined as the commission of a sexual offense with or to a child as a result of the acts or omissions of the person responsible for the care of the child. The commission of sexual abuse includes any sexual offense with or to a person under the age of 18 years. Physical indicators of sexual abuse could include things such as bruised or bleeding genitalia, venereal disease, or even pregnancy.
What if it's not physical or sexual abuse that I suspect?
If you suspect child abuse other than physical or sexual abuse, and you are not a statutory mandatory reporter, you are still encouraged to report to University of Iowa Police (319-335-5022) or to the Department of Human Services (800-362-2178).
Where do I report?
On campus, everyone must report to the University of Iowa Police. Call (319) 335-5022 or go to the UI Police office, 808 University Capitol Centre (basement). For events occurring off campus, but in relation to University programs or property, report to local law enforcement at 911.
Anyone, even if the person is not a statutory mandatory reporter under law, may also report to the Department of Human Services. Statutory mandatory reporters under Iowa Code 232 must report to the Department of Human Services (800-362-2178).
What about other crimes?
The University strongly encourages the reporting of any criminal activity to University of Iowa Police, especially if the crime may result in harm to individuals or property damage or loss.
I am afraid to report. Am I protected in any way?
Many are afraid to report because they fear retaliation or because of allegations of false reporting. Be aware that the law and University of Iowa policies forbid retaliation against employees who in good faith report child abuse, and provide immunity for civil and criminal liability for persons who are statutory mandatory reporters as well as those who are permissive reporters (those not in profession required to report under Iowa Code 232) as long as the report is made in good faith.
Employees of UI who report in the course of their duties, and who do so in good faith, are protected from liability by the Iowa Tort Claims Act. If you have questions, please contact the Office of General Counsel, 120 Jessup Hall, (319) 335-3696.
I still have questions. Where do I turn?
Call the Office of General Counsel, 120 Jessup Hall, (319) 335-3696.