Minors on Campus
Florida International University is fully committed to ensuring that minors who are physically on campus or who participate in University sanctioned activities and programs do so in a safe and secure environment free from any physical, mental, or sexual abuse, injury, or harm. The University strives to create an environment that places the needs of children above the needs of adults and where everyone who sees or suspects child abuse, abandonment or neglect reports it.
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse, Abandonment & Neglect
WHAT TO REPORT:
Are you aware that Florida law requires you to report any instance of known or suspected Child Abuse, Abandonment or Neglect to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Abuse Hotline?
This includes sexual or physical abuse against a child by any person, regardless of their relationship to each other, as well as any type of sexual abuse by a child against another child.
FIU supports the objective of this law and encourages any University employee or administrator who witnesses or learns of an instance of child abuse, abandonment or neglect to report each instance.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE that if the child is in imminent danger or risk of harm and requires immediate protection, you should contact the FIU Police Department or dial 911 prior to contacting DCF. You must then contact DCF to make a report immediately and without delay.
HOW TO REPORT:
Instances of known or suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect must be reported to DCF by:
- Telephone to the Florida Abuse Hotline: 1-800-96-ABUSE (2-2873) (Available 24/7)
- Web reporting at http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/abuse/report/
- Facsimile: 1-800-914-0004
You may also contact the FIU Ethical Panther Hotline at:
- Telephone 1-888-520-0570 (24 hours/day, 365 days/year)
- Web reporting at https://compliance.fiu.edu/hotline/
WHO MUST REPORT:
Any FIU Administrator or Police Department personnel who receives information from a member of FIU faculty, staff or other employee of any known or suspected instance of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect committed on the property of the university or during an event or function sponsored by the university is required to report such information immediately to DCF.
Knowing and willful failure by any FIU Administrator or FIU Police Department personnel to report or to prevent another person from making a report to DCF, may lead to a $1 million fine against FIU.
In addition to the above institutional requirements, everyone in the State of Florida has an independent, individual obligation to report any instances of known or suspected child abuse, abandonment or neglect to DCF whether it occurred on or off campus. Any person who knowingly and willfully fails to do so, or who prevents another person from doing so, can be found guilty of a 3rd degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a $5,000.00 fine.
Under the University’s Pre-Employment Requirements Policy, prospective candidates for employment for a regular full-time, part-time or temporary position will be subject to a criminal history check and any other background check required by law.
Owners, operators, employees or volunteers of programs and summer or recreational camps involving minors that are held on the University campuses or that are sponsored by the University, will be subjected to a Level 2 criminal background check. This more in-depth criminal background check includes fingerprinting through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Athletic coaches, working for 20 or more hours within a calendar year, whether for compensation or as a volunteer, who have direct contact with one or more minors, will also be subject to a Level 2 criminal background check.
Mandatory Reporting Information:
- FIU Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse, Abandonment & Neglect Policy (PDF)
- Florida Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse, Abandonment & Neglect Law (Fla. Stat. 39.201)
- Florida Penalties relating to reporting of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect Law (Fla. Stat. 39.205)
Background Check Information:
- FIU Pre-Employment Requirements Policy
- Florida Summer Camps Law (Fla. Stat. 409.175)
- Florida Athletic Volunteer Coaches Law (Fla. Stat. 943.0438)
- Florida DCF – Who should be Screened for Level 2 Background Checks?
- Florida DCF Screening Requirements for Summer Camps
- Florida Law Requiring Level 2 Background Checks for Summer Camps: Owners, Operators, Employees & Volunteers (409.175, F.S.)
- Florida Law Requiring Level 2 Background Checks for Volunteer Coaches ONLY (943.0438, F.S.)
- DCF Training Presentation (PDF)
- FIU Online Training – Child Abuse Tutorial: The Role of the Mandated Reporter
- FIU College of Education Presentation – Reporting Child Abuse
- SUS-BOG Protection of Vulnerable Persons Video Presentation
For more Information, contact the Office of University Compliance & Integrity at (305) 348-2216.