Title: Policy on Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
Approved by: Ethics and Compliance Leadership Committee
Date Approved: April 4, 2016
Updated: January 1, 2021
Responsible Official: Vice President for Human Relations and Chief Diversity Officer
Claremont McKenna College (“CMC” or “College”) seeks to maintain a safe environment for children under the age of 18 while on campus or at any CMC activity or program. Certain members of the CMC community are designated by California law as “mandated reporters” with legal obligations to report known or suspected abuse or neglect of children. For detailed information about the legal requirements, see the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (Penal Code Sections 11164-11174.3, or “the Act”). The Act encourages others not otherwise obligated by law to voluntary report known or suspected abuse of children (Penal Code 11166(g)). This Policy provides information on what categories of CMC employers are mandated reporters and outlines external and internal reporting requirements for those employees. Moreover, all employees, regardless of mandated reporter status, are encouraged to internally report known or suspected abuse or neglect of children consistent with the requirements below.
Entities Covered by this Policy
- All units of the College, including student organizations sponsoring Programs.
Please direct any questions about this policy to:
Office of the General Counsel
These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this Policy:
- Child: Anyone under age 18.
- Mandated/Mandatory Reporter: College employee required by law to report a particular category or type of abuse.
- CMC employee: An individual, paid or unpaid, who works for the College, including faculty, students, post-doctoral fellows, temporary workers, independent contractors, and volunteers.
- “Reasonably Suspects”: A reasonable suspicion is one that is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a like position, drawing, when appropriate, on his or her training and experience, to suspect child abuse or neglect. This does not require certainty that child abuse or neglect has occurred or a specific medical indication of abuse or neglect (see Penal Code 11166(a)(1)).
Who Qualifies as a Mandated Reporter
California Penal Code defines categories of Mandated Reporters in Section 11165.7(a). The following categories are applicable at CMC:
- Teachers or instructional aides (Penal Code 11165.7(a)(1)) (e.g. teachers at The Children’s School).
- Administrators of private day camps (Penal Code 11165.7(a)(6)).
- A licensee, administrator, or employee of a licensed community care or child day care facility (Penal Code 11165.7(a)(10)).
- Any CMC employee or administrator whose duties bring the administrator or employee into contact with children on a regular basis, as to child abuse or neglect occurring on CMC’s premises or at an official CMC activity or program (Penal Code 11165.7(a)(41)).
- Any CMC employee or administrator who supervises those whose duties bring the administrator or employee into contact with children on a regular basis (Penal Code 11165.7(a)(41).
- Any CMC employee or administrator responsible for receiving complaints of discrimination.
- Any CMC Athletics coach including assistant coaches and graduate assistants who are involved in coaching (Penal Code 11165.7(a)(44).
- Any adult employee or volunteer responsible for direct contact with and supervision of minors in the performance of the minor’s work.
All Department heads must identify CMC current employees who are Mandated Reporters and transmit that designation to the Director of Human Resources. For new hires and new job positions, the Director of Human Resources and Department heads will work together to decide if the new employee is a Mandated Reporter. The Director of Human Resources will provide each Mandated Reporter with the Mandatory Reporter Attachment. Existing employees must return the form to Human Resources within 30 days of the issuance of this Policy. New hires must complete the form prior to working at CMC. All Mandated Reporters must complete training on these requirements as directed by Human Resources.
Mandatory Reporter Attachment
What Must Be Reported
A Mandated Reporter must report any of the following which the Mandated Reporter knows, or reasonably suspects, to have occurred:
- Physical Injury or Death of a Child, other than inflicted by accidental means (see Penal Code 11165.6).
- Sexual Abuse of a Child-sexual assault or sexual exploitation (see Penal Code 11165.1).
- Neglect: negligent treatment or maltreatment of a Child by a person responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the child’s health or welfare (see Penal Code 11165.2). This includes acts and omissions on the part of the responsible person.
- Willful harming, injuring or endangering a Child: a situation in which any person willfully causes or permits any Child to suffer, or inflicts on any Child, unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering or permits the Child’s person or health to be placed in a situation in which either are endangered (see Penal Code 11165.3).
- Unlawful corporal punishment or injury of a Child: a situation in which any person willfully inflicts upon any Child any cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or injury resulting in a traumatic condition (see Penal Code 11165.4).
A mutual affray between minors does not need to be reported, nor injuries caused by reasonably and necessary force used by a peace officer acting within the course and scope of duties (see Penal Code 11165.6). Mandated reporters may, but are not required to, report known or reasonably suspected emotional damage of a Child (Penal Code 11166.05).
How to Report
Two reports must be made by Mandated Reporters, an external and internal report. The external report has two components (a verbal and written report).
The external report includes an immediate phone call to a local police department, sheriff’s department or county welfare department, followed by a written report to the same agency within 36 hours of the verbal report. Failure to immediately report or to report as soon as is practically possible suspected abuse or neglect can result in criminal penalties as well as formal discipline by CMC. External reports can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. CMC employees of the main campus may call the Claremont Police Department (909-399-5411) or LA County’s Department of Children and Family Services Child Protection Hotline at 1-800-540-4000 or 213-639-4500. CMC employees of the Silicon Valley Program may call the Sunnyvale Police Department at 408-730-7100 or the Santa Clara Child Abuse Reporting Center at 408-299-2071. The written report form is available here.
In addition to the external report, a Mandated Reporter must provide information about the suspected abuse or neglect to either the Reporter’s supervisor or via CMC Listens (1-800-461-9330 or CMCListens). The Reporter can remain anonymous, and CMCListens provides for anonymous reporting. The report must contain as much of the following information is as known:
- The basis for the reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect;
- Contact information for the child, the child’s parent/guardian, and the alleged abuser.
Supervisors who receive reports of suspected abuse or neglect must immediately forward those reports to the College’s Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will respond to the report, including, as appropriate, notifying the College’s senior leadership, initiating an investigation, notifying the minor’s parents/guardians, and providing care and support services. If the alleged abuse involves a staff member, the Title IX Coordinator will immediately notify the College’s Human Resources Department. If the alleged abuse involves a student, the Title IX Coordinator will immediately notify the College’s Dean of Students.
The Title IX Coordinator will ensure that appropriate records are maintained of each such allegation so that trends, patterns, or repeat offenders can be identified and reported to the College’s senior leadership.
If a report is made to a supervisor, the supervisor must make the internal report consistent with the procedures above. The Act imposes criminal liability on a supervisor who impedes or inhibits these reporting duties (Penal Code 11166.01(a)). Internal reports should be completed as soon as reasonably practical, but in no instance more than two business days after completing the verbal external report. Making an internal report does not relieve a Mandatory Reporter from completing the external report. Non-Mandated Reporters who reasonably suspect abuse or neglect are heavily encouraged to submit the internal report consistent with the procedure above.
Protection for Mandated (or Voluntary Reporters)
The College will defend and indemnify employees in civil actions arising from their good faith report of abuse or neglect required or encouraged under this Policy. In addition, the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act provides immunity from civil or criminal liability for Mandated Reporters. If a Mandated Reporter faces litigation as a result of the duties imposed on them by the Act, the Reporter may, in specified circumstances, present a claim for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board (Penal Code 11172(d)(1). For voluntary reporters, the Act provides immunity from civil or criminal liability unless the reporter knowingly made a false report or made it with reckless disregard of the truth (Penal Code 11172(a)). The Act also prohibits anyone from imposing a sanction on anyone making a good faith report (Penal Code 11166(i)(1)).
Other Reporting Responsibilities
Penal Code 152.3 imposes a legal obligation to notify a peace officer when anyone reasonably believes they have observed the commission of the following acts against a Child under age 14:
- Lewd or Lascivious act by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury as outlined by Penal Code 288(b)(1).
In addition, this Policy supplements but does not replace or negate any reporting requirements of all College employee under the College’s Clery Act Reporting Requirements and the College’s Title IX obligations.