Syracuse University

Syracuse University Directions Regarding Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Maltreatment of Minor Children in its Facilities or Programs

 

Creating an open, safe environment: University Statement of Principles

Syracuse University’s mission of educational excellence and public engagement is rooted in its vision of Scholarship in Action. The fulfillment of this mission is tied deeply to access, opportunity, and cross-institutional collaboration. The Syracuse University community serves and partners with a broad array of internal and external constituents from a variety of communities, near and far, of all ages, in an intentionally open environment.

Inherent to fulfilling this mission is the recognition by all who serve the institution that there is a human obligation to provide safety for all persons of all ages who participate in its programs. All members of the University community are stewards of these relationships and must recognize the differences of power that often exist in them. As members of the community, we all have the responsibility to protect those who are in a position of vulnerability. This is fulfilled when all individuals share in accountability for this obligation. In this way, members of the University community accept and endorse the basic principle of safety that supports our institutional commitment to access, opportunity, and cross-institutional collaboration, all of which exist to serve the core mission.

The policies of the University are concerned with the conduct of the members of the community, and the University will make sure that the procedures regarding behavior and accountability are in accordance with this statement.

Syracuse University herein provides directions for members of the campus community to follow in reporting witnessed or suspected past or current abuse involving a minor child (under the age of 17). For definitions and more information, see

http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/cps/critical.asp.

 

Mandated Reporters:

Syracuse University employs a number of individuals in roles that New York State designates as “Mandated Reporters.” These are generally individuals whose professions place special, legislated responsibilities upon them as related to reporting suspected child abuse and maltreatment. The complete requirements for training and reporting for these individuals can be found at http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/publications/Pub1159.pdf, but those Mandated Reporters include the following insofar as they are employed in that capacity at Syracuse University:

Physician; registered physician assistant; psychologist; registered nurse; social worker; emergency medical technician; licensed marriage and family therapist; licensed creative arts therapist, licensed mental health counselor; PreK-12 school teacher, school guidance  counselor, school psychologist, school social worker, school nurse, school administrator or other school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate; social services worker; day care center worker; school-age child care worker; residential care facility worker; child foster care worker; mental health professional; substance abuse counselor; alcoholism counselor; peace officer; police officer.

Mandated Reporters, as soon as they suspect either past or ongoing abuse or maltreatment, must report concerns by telephone to the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR). The SCR is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to receive calls. The telephone numbers to report abuse or maltreatment are:

For Mandated Reporter (800) 635-1522
In Onondaga County, the county-run child abuse hotline may be used instead of the SCR: Onondaga County (315) 422-9701
Oral reports to the SCR from a Mandated Reporter must be followed within 48 hours by a written report to the local department of social services’ CPS unit on form LDSS-2221A. A copy of this form and the local mailing address can be obtained by contacting your local department of social services, or by visiting the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) website at http://www.ocfs.state.ny.us.For any suspected past or ongoing abuse, SU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) must be contacted, either by the employee or by the employee’s supervisor. 

For any observed instance of physical or sexual abuse, the observer should immediately call 911 to reach the Syracuse City Police, and/or the law enforcement department in whose jurisdiction the incident occurred (e.g., Onondaga District Attorney’s Office: 315-435-2470, for incidents within Onondaga County). The observer should also contact DPS at 315-443-2224.

The SU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) peace officers have many of the same capabilities and obligations on campus as police officers in New York State. Nevertheless, in all instances where DPS receives reports of either observed or suspected past or current abuse or maltreatment, DPS will notify local law enforcement.

For All Other Members of the Syracuse University Community:

It is possible that New York State will amend its statutes to include more members of the higher education community as Mandated Reporters, such as college coaches, athletic directors, professors, and college administrators; at present the following reflects the directives of Syracuse University to its community members who are not Mandated Reporters under the current statutes.

Syracuse University calls upon members of its campus community to act and respond promptly in ways that create and sustain the most productive and supportive environment possible for all in our community. While we all must be vigilant to prevent instances of violence of any kind, the University has provided specific directions for members of the campus community regarding the reporting of actual or suspected abuse or violence against children.

1. If you witness an instance of sexual or physical abuse against a child as it is occurring, immediately call 911 to reach the Syracuse City Police, or the law enforcement department where you are located. You should also contact SU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 315-443-2224.

2. If you have not witnessed child abuse, but suspect it may be occurring or may have occurred at a child's home or in another setting, immediately contact New York State Child Protective Services at 1-800-342-3720. For more information you may visit the NYS-CPS website. You should also contact SU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 315-443-2224.

3. If you have concerns about other possible illegal, inappropriate, or questionable behavior, you may promptly report them to SU DPS at 315-443-2224. In addition, DPS has a Silent Witness program, which allows individuals to report concerns about criminal activity. (https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/en/report_company.asp?clientid=6432) For instances of  suspected cases of sexual abuse of a minor, the University’s Gender Equity/Sexual Harassment/Title IX Officer  is available to answer questions and provide information at 315-443-0211.

The SU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) peace officers have many of the same capabilities and obligations on campus as police officers in New York State. Nevertheless, in all instances

where DPS receives reports of either observed or suspected past or current abuse or maltreatment, DPS will notify local law enforcement.

For supervisors, managers and others to whom University community members might report concerns, please use the guidance above to direct your reports to law enforcement and/or appropriate campus agents. When in doubt, direct any reports of observed or suspected misconduct to SU DPS at 315-443-2224.

For all those who direct or manage programs with minor participants, in addition to these general directives, you should refer to University guidelines on requirements for administering programs for youth participants in your division of the University, available from the Gender Equity/Sexual Harassment/Title IX Officer (315-443-0211).