Safety of Minors and Abuse Reporting Policy

Responsible office: Human Resources, Safety & Risk
Responsible party: Public Safety, Events, and Title IX
Last revision:
Approved by: President
Approval date: May 19, 2022
Effective date: May 19, 2022
Additional references:
Ad Hoc Committee on the Policy for the Protection of Minors (Appendix A)

I. Scope

This policy provides guidance to all Earlham College employees, students, volunteers and guests regarding its commitment to the safety of minors invited to Earlham’s campus or participating in Minors Programs offered by Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion (“Earlham”). It will also ensure that Earlham meets its legal obligations in this area.

II. Policy Overview

This policy provides guidance on the administration of Minors Programs on Earlham’s campus or Minors Programs sponsored by a unit of Earlham. All Earlham employees and volunteers are Mandated Reporters and are legally obligated to make a formal report of suspected child abuse. All staff or volunteers working in Minors Programs must receive formal training on child safety and Indiana mandated reporting guidelines. All Minors Programs must be registered as such with Earlham Events and with Human Resources, Safety & Risk, and all employees and volunteers working in Minors Programs must submit to a background check prior to participating in any Minors Programs.

III. Responsibilities and Procedures

  1. Program Administration
    1. Program Eligibility: Minors Programs may be sponsored and controlled by an Earlham center, school, unit, or department, or they may be administered by a third-party with a contract to use Earlham property for the administration of such a program. Student organizations are not permitted to sponsor Minors Programs. Student organizations may participate in a Minors Program sponsored by a center, school, unit, or department of Earlham.
    2. Minors Program Registration: Each academic and administrative unit sponsoring a Minors Program, whether located on or off of Earlham’s campus, is required to register such programs with Earlham’s office of Human Resources, Safety & Risk no later than sixty (60) days prior to the commencement date of the applicable Minors Program. Any amendments or changes to the Minors Program registration should be submitted to Human Resources, Safety & Risk as soon as is practicable after the need for amendment becomes known. A Minors Program will not be permitted if it does not timely register with Human Resources, Safety & Risk or if Human Resources, Safety & Risk decides to deny approval of the submitted Minors Program registration. Minors Programs do not include, and registration is not required for, the following:
      1. Visits, tours, open houses and admissions fairs designed to target students who may matriculate to Earlham in the next 24 months, as long as the activity does not include an overnight stay.
      2. Student recruitment activities that target individual prospective student athletes, as long as the activity does not include an overnight stay.
      3. Events open to the general public at which minors may be in attendance but are not the primary intended audience.
    3. Background Checks:
      1. Earlham requires a criminal background check every five (5) years for year-round employees and annually for all seasonal staff and volunteers participating in Minors Programs, including all Designated Individuals.
      2. Background checks for permanent Earlham employees will be arranged by Human Resources, Safety & Risk and conducted by a third party.
      3. Background checks may include criminal history record checks, sex offender registry checks, and child protective services checks, and all background checks may be reviewed by Human Resources, Safety & Risk, as well as other representatives or agents of Earlham, for compliance and eligibility to participate in any Minors Programs. Individuals who fail or otherwise refuse a background check shall not be entitled to participate in any Minors Programs.
      4. Third-parties conducting Minors Programs on or about Earlham’s property or in connection with Earlham sponsored Minors Programs must conduct criminal and sex offender background checks of owners, operators, employees, agents, and volunteers who will participate in Minors Programs as required by this policy. A certification that background checks have been completed by such third-parties will be required. No third-party owner, operator, employee, agent, or volunteer may participate in a Minors Program until a cleared status has been received by the third-party from Earlham’s office of Human Resources, Safety & Risk. Earlham may request any additional information from the third-party it deems necessary to meet the requirements of this policy.
  1. Forms, Waivers and Insurance
    1. The Designated Individual(s) administering a Minors Program must require parents or guardians of minor participants to complete a liability waiver form as approved by Human Resources, Safety & Risk.
    2. The Designated Individual(s) administering a Minors Program must require parents or guardians of minor participants to complete a medical authorization form for any Minors Programs involving an overnight stay or where parents or legal guardians are not expected to be reasonably accessible during the applicable Minors Program.
    3. Any Minors Program that includes the taking of photos or videos of Minors Program participants must obtain a written media release from parents or guardians of minor participants if photos or videos (1) are taken in a nonpublic location, and/or (2) will be used for promotion of the Minors Program, in Minors Program materials, and/or posted to an online platform that is not restricted to the Designated Individuals associated with the applicable Minors Program and participants only.  
    4. Any third-party sponsor of a Minors Program (“Sponsor”) that is not a unit of or otherwise affiliated with Earlham is required to (i) obtain and maintain at least $1MM of Sexual Abuse and Molestation Liability Insurance (“SAM”) coverage and (ii) name the Trustees of Earlham College as an additional insured on such policy. The Sponsor must provide a certificate of insurance to Earlham’s office of Human Resources, Safety & Risk demonstrating that these requirements are satisfied at the time of the applicable Minors Program registration.
    5. Behavior and Compliance with Regulations: All Designated Individuals and minors participating in a Minors Program will be subject to all Earlham regulations while on campus or otherwise participating in the applicable Minors Program and may be asked to leave the campus and/or otherwise cease participation in the applicable Minors Program, if unable or unwilling to so comply.
  2. Mandatory Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect
    1. Under this policy, all Earlham employees, volunteers, student workers, independent contractors, regardless of their status, and third parties are Mandated Reporters who, in the course of their Earlham business or volunteer activity, must make a formal report:
      1. Should a Mandated Reporter have reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect;
      2. When a person makes a specific disclosure to the Mandated Reporter that an identifiable child is a victim of child abuse; or
      3. When an individual 14 years of age or older makes a specific disclosure to a Mandated Reporter that they have committed child abuse.  
      4. Indiana law requires anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect to report it to the authorities. Professionals who knowingly fail to make a report required by IC §31-33-5-2 commit a Class B misdemeanor.
    2. Individuals making a report of alleged or suspected abuse of a minor on Earlham property or with respect to any Minors Program, follow these steps:
      1. Pursuant to Indiana Code §31-33-5-2, alleged abuse of minors must be reported orally or in writing to local law enforcement or child protective services.
      2. If a child is in immediate danger, contact police at 911 to obtain immediate protection for the child.
      3. Call 765-983-1400 to make a formal report to Public Safety. If possible, transport the child to Public Safety.
      4. Responsible parties should remain with the child at all times until one of the two above authorities has taken over care of the child.
      5. Comply, to the extent deemed necessary and practicable, with Public Safety by providing factual information related to the report.
        1. Mandated Reporters report the facts and circumstances that led to their suspicion of abuse or neglect.
        2. Mandated Reporters do not need tangible proof of abuse, and they should not engage in an interview of the child as this can cause further trauma or impede future investigation.
        3. Mandated Reporters are to simply report what was observed or disclosed and allow the proper authorities to investigate.
      6. If an Earlham employee or student is a Respondent to an allegation of sexual misconduct against a child on campus or in a Minors Program in the United States, the Office of Title IX must be notified. Failure to notify actual knowledge of sexual misconduct in Earlham programming is a violation of Earlham College’s Sexual Harassment Policy and Title IX federal regulations. Visit https://earlham.edu/office-of-title-ix/ for reporting options.
  3. Reporting Other Incidents
    1. Designated Individuals must notify Public Safety immediately following any incident that:
      1. Results or could have resulted in serious psychological harm or bodily injury to a minor or member of staff, including instances of peer-to-peer abuse or injury;
      2. Results or might result in a participant’s ejection, suspension or dismissal from a Minors Program for disciplinary reasons regardless of the duration of the suspension; or
      3. Requires or involves a response by emergency personnel.
  4. Mandatory Training
    1. All Designated Individuals must receive training that covers, at a minimum, child safety and the requirements for mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect. Designated Individuals are not permitted to select or offer their own training. All Designated Individuals shall use training identified by Human Resources, Safety & Risk.
    2. Minors Programs that operate continuously must ensure all Designated Individuals are trained in accordance with these procedures in the six-month period immediately preceding each individual’s participation in the applicable Minors Program and at least every twelve (12) months thereafter.
    3. Designated Individuals must ensure that any member of staff or volunteer who joins a Minors Program after the start of the Minors Program is trained in accordance with these procedures prior to the individual’s participation in the applicable Minors Program if the individual has not already completed training within the last 24 months.
    4. Exception to mandatory training requirements:
      1. Large, single-day events. Volunteers or staff for large, single-day, events are not required to complete training on child safety as long as such individuals are never left alone with a minor and are supervised by a Designated Individual who has completed the training on child safety.

IV. Policy Implications

  • No Earlham employee making a report of child abuse or neglect in good faith may be discharged from employment, disciplined or otherwise discriminated against in regard to employment, or threatened with any such treatment because that employee made a report in good faith.
  • Any Earlham employee who fails to report suspected child abuse or neglect in violation of this policy may be found to be in violation of an applicable work rule and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

V. Definitions

  • Child or Minor. A person who has not yet reached the age of 18 who is not a matriculated student of Earlham College or the Earlham School of Religion.
  • Child Abuse. Indiana law defines child abuse and neglect as:
    • The child’s physical or mental health is seriously endangered due to injury by the act or omission of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian; or the illegal manufacture of a drug or controlled substance is occurring on the property where a child resides.  
    • The child’s physical or mental condition is seriously impaired or seriously endangered as a result of the inability, refusal, or neglect of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or supervision.
    • A child with a disability is deprived of nutrition that is necessary to sustain life or is deprived of medical or surgical intervention that is necessary to remedy or ameliorate a life-threatening medical condition if the nutritional, medical, or surgical intervention is generally provided to similarly situated children with or without disabilities.
    • The child is the victim of an offense, as defined by criminal statutes, pertaining to rape, child molestation, child exploitation or possession of child pornography, child solicitation or seduction, sexual battery, sexual misconduct with a minor, indecent exposure, prostitution, promoting prostitution or juvenile prostitution, or incest; child participation in an obscene performance.  
  • Complainant. A child who has reported being the victim of conduct that could constitute abuse or neglect or on whose behalf a formal complaint has been filed.
  • Designated Individual(s). Any person(s) having primary responsibility for managing or administering a Minors Program and any person(s) otherwise involved in a Minors Program and who may have any contact with minors when administering their duties within the applicable Minors Program. Examples of Designated Individuals include but are not limited to faculty, staff, student workers, volunteers, and contracted employees.
  • Mandated Reporter. Any individual who is required to make an official report to the appropriate authorities of cases of suspected child abuse.
  • Program for Minors. Any program or camp held on Earlham property or otherwise sponsored, overseen, managed, supervised or controlled by Earlham that offers recreational, athletic, religious, or educational activities to minors. This excludes programs for students enrolled at Earlham who may be under the age of 18.
  • Respondent. Any individual accused of a child abuse violation.
  • Students. All students pursuing undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, or certificates at Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion.
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX is a federal civil rights law that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

VI. Policy Creation, Modification, and Approval Steps

  1. Reviewed and modified by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Policy for the Protection of Minors: May 18, 2022
  2. Reviewed by Cabinet: May 19, 2022
  3. Approved by the President: May 19, 2022

Appendix A

Ad Hoc Committee on the Policy for the Protection of Minors

January 3, 2022

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Policy for the Protection of Minors is charged by the College President to recommend new policy that provides guidance to all Earlham employees, students, volunteers and guests on safety of minors on Earlham’s campus and in all programs of Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion. The policy should also ensure that Earlham meets its legal obligations in this area.

Membership:

Gariot P. Louima, PhD (Convener)
Associate Vice President for Strategic and Diversity Initiatives

Christopher Little, MPA
Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Safety and Risk

Jenelle M. Job, PhD
Senior Director of Title IX

Next steps