The purpose of the Protection of Children Policy is to provide guidelines for the appropriate protection and supervision of children participating in University-sponsored programs, in programs operated by outside entities held in University facilities, and/or programs housed in University facilities, wherever those programs or facilities are located.
Duty to Report Suspected Child Abuse
All employees and volunteers are required by Pennsylvania law to make a report of suspected child abuse. Call ChildLine toll free at 800-932-0313.
Employees and volunteers who fail to report a case of suspected child abuse may face felony charges of the third degree.
Contact Human Resources for additional information.
All employees and volunteers are required to complete 3 hours of training within 90 days of hire and 3 hours of training every five years thereafter. Training will be provided by the University.
All employees and volunteers who have direct contact with children must obtain new clearances. Existing clearances, even if less than one year old, are not sufficient. For new hires, original clearances must be produced prior to employment. Human Resources (or the appropriate administrator when employees are not involved) will maintain copies of the clearances.
Certain exceptions apply for children employed by the institution of higher education, interns, exchange visitors, and certain volunteers. See Human Resources for details.
Marywood will cover the cost of clearances for all employees (FT and PT.)
Covered employees must obtain the following clearances: PA State Police criminal background check; clearance through ChildLine (child abuse); and FBI clearance (fingerprinting). Employees may be eligible for a 90 day provisional hiring period during which they may work as long as they are not working alone with children.
The provisional hiring period for volunteers is 30 days.
Clearances must be renewed every 60 months. Covered employees and volunteers who do not comply with the clearance requirements may face criminal charges and/or termination of employment/volunteer status.
Covered employees and volunteers must report changes in clearance status within 72 hours or face possible criminal charges and/or termination of employment/volunteer status.
Covered employees or volunteers will be dismissed immediately if their clearances reveal that they are named in the statewide database as the perpetrator of a founded report committed within the past five years, or that they were convicted of one or more of the offenses listed in 23 Pa. C.S. § 6344(c), or an equivalent crime under federal law or the law of another state. Prospective job applicants and volunteers will not be hired or allowed to participate for the same reasons.
Measures to prevent child abuse
In addition to the requirements listed above, all members of the Marywood community should abide by the following measures:
Establish a procedure for the notification of the child’s authorized parent/legal guardian in case of an emergency, including medical or behavioral problems, natural disasters or other significant disruptions.
Avoid one-on-one contact with children: when feasible, there should be two or more adults present during activities when children are present.
Comply with all Marywood Policies, as well as Campus Safety and Housing and Residence Life policies and procedures.
Adult – an individual 18 years of age or older.
Child – an individual under 18 years of age. Prospective students and matriculated students under 18 are not covered. However, dual enrollment students are covered.
ChildLine – an organizational unit of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare which operates a statewide toll-free system for receiving reports of suspected child abuse, refers such reports for investigation, and maintains the reports in the appropriate file. ChildLine may be reached at 800-932-0313.
Covered employee/covered volunteer – an individual who has “direct contact” with children.
Direct contact with children (employees/independent contractors) – the care, supervision, guidance or control of children, or routine interaction with children. Administrative and support personnel are excluded unless they have direct contact with children.
Direct contact with children (volunteers) – the care, supervision, guidance or control of children, and routine interaction with children. Volunteers who interact with children for one day a year for a special event are excluded.
Matriculated student – a student who is enrolled in an institution of higher education and pursing a program of study that results in a postsecondary credential, such as certificates, diploma or degree.
Routine interaction – regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities.