Policy 5-512

  1. Title

    Subchapter 5-512 Child Protection Policy

  2. Policy

    1. The University of Texas at Arlington ("the University") is committed to maintaining a supportive and safe educational environment, one which seeks to enhance the well-being of all members of its community. This commitment reflects the University's adherence to its mission, to its various policies supporting its mission, and to relevant state and federal laws. Within that commitment, the University places importance on creating a secure environment for children. To that end, the University has adopted the following child protection policy and procedures.

      In order to ensure the safety and well-being of children, individuals, including University faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and representatives as well as third-party vendors and their employees, representatives, or volunteers that contract for use of University facilities, with responsibilities that involve interaction with children (collectively "University personnel"), must carefully review and abide by the following policy regarding child protection.
    2. This Policy applies to child abuse or neglect that allegedly occurs on the University's campus, on property owned or leased by the University, or while University personnel are participating in a University supported activity off campus.

      With very limited exception, Texas law (Tex. Family Code § 261.109) makes the reporting of known or suspected child abuse or neglect mandatory for University employees. It is the University's position that, in addition to the mandated statutory reporting requirements for certain individuals and entities, all University personnel should immediately report known or suspected child abuse or neglect as provided in this Policy.

      UT Arlington is committed to providing a safe environment for youth to grow, to develop an excitement for learning. It is the University's policy to provide training to specific personnel who work with minors in order to educate them about significant risks posed to children. The University aims to keep children safe by engaging staff and volunteers in strategies for recognizing, preventing, and reporting abuse and neglect. The University provides the training mandated by Texas Education Code § 51.976 and the UT System. The training can be found online at www.uta.edu/training.
    3. If you know or suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect, you must act. State law requires, any "person having cause to believe that a child's physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely effected by abuse or neglect by any person to immediately make a report" to law enforcement (Tex. Family Code, § 261.101(a)). Knowingly failing to report abuse or neglect is a Class A Misdemeanor (Tex. Family Code, § 261.109)

      In deciding whether or not to report an incident or situation of suspected abuse or neglect, it is not required that you have proof that abuse or neglect has occurred. Any uncertainty in deciding to report suspected abuse or neglect should be resolved in favor of making a good faith report.

      In making a report, your actions should be as follows:

      First, immediately report the information to:
      The UTA Police Department at 817-272-3003; or
      Arlington Police Department at 817-274-4444; or
      Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) at 1-800-252-5400; or
      Emergencies: 911

      Your oral report should include all available information regarding the known or suspected abuse or neglect, including, but not limited to, the name of the child, his/her whereabouts, the names and addresses of the parents, guardian, or caretaker and the character and extent of the injuries. The report should also contain, if known, any evidence of previous injuries to said child and any other pertinent information that might establish the cause of such injury or injuries, and the identity of the person or persons responsible for the same.

      Second, do not directly question or solicit information from the child or from the person suspected of improper behavior. That is not your role; the role of investigation lies with city, county, and state officials.

      Third, in addition to making an oral report, in cases that do not require an emergency response you must also complete an online report www.txabusehotline.org/Login/Default.aspx and deliver the same to the UTA Police Department at University Police Bldg. 700 S. Davis St. Arlington, TX 76013. policedepartment@uta.edu.

      Fourth, notify the Program Director of the subject camp. The Program Director is responsible for immediately notifying EOS Executive Director and/or VP of Human Resources.
    4. Any University employee or external program that is planning a camp/conference in which children will be invited to the campus must complete and submit a Request to Host a Camp/Conference form located at http://www.uta.edu/campus-ops/conferences/reserve-now.php#University%20Division/Department%20Programs and receive written approval prior to the event.
    5. Any person who makes a good report or assists in the investigation of alleged or known abuse or neglect is protected under the law from liability (Tex. Family Code, § 261.106). The immunity provided by law includes both civil and criminal liability.
  3. Definitions

    Child: The Texas Administrative Code defines a child as, "A person under 18 years of age who is not and has not been married or who has not had the disabilities of minority removed for general purposes." (25 TAC 1.203)

    Harm: A physical or emotional injury, or the threat of such harm to a child's health or welfare. Harm can occur through non-accidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or attempted sexual abuse or sexual exploitation or attempted sexual exploitation.

    Sexual abuse: may be perpetrated by an adult or another child and includes the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or having a child assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct, or any simulation of the conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of the conduct; or the rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children as those acts are defined by Texas law and UT System policy. Sexual abuse also includes any activity that is meant to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of the perpetrating adult or child. Sexual abuse may or may not involve touching.

    Sexual exploitation: allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution and allowing, permitting, encouraging or engaging in the obscene or pornographic photographing, filming, or depicting of a child for commercial purposes.

    Negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child: includes the failure to provide adequate food, medical treatment, supervision, clothing, or shelter.

  4. Relevant Federal and State Statutes

    Texas Family Code Chapter 261
    Texas Administrative Code Title 25 § 1.203

    Texas Education Code § 51.976

  5. Relevant UT System Policies, Procedures and Forms

    None

  6. Who Should Know

    University faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and representatives as well as third-party vendors and their employees, representatives, or volunteers that contract for use of University facilities, with responsibilities that involve interaction with children.

  7. UT Arlington Office(s) Responsible for Policy

    University Compliance Services

  8. Dates Approved or Amended

    August 12, 2014

  9. Contact Information

    All questions concerning this Policy should be directed to University Compliance Services. compliance@uta.edu