Augusta University is committed to the safety and well-being of children and the prompt reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect. The following instructions outline reporting procedures for program/activity staff, including volunteers, in according with Georgia Law (O.C.G.A. §19-7-5) and AU policies for the protection of minors.

All University staff and program/activity staff, including volunteers, who have reasonable cause to believe that child abuse has occurred shall immediately (but in no case later than 24 hours) make a report or confirm that a report has been made to ALL of the following entities:

  • The AU Police Department at (706) 721-2911
  • Their supervisor, program director, or other responsible University official
  • The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) at 1-855-GACHILD

If you have reasonable cause to believe child abuse has occurred, DO NOT attempt to investigate the matter further or gather additional information before reporting.

Training on mandatory reporting is required for all program/activity staff, including volunteers. It is available online through the Georgia Office of the Child Advocate at https://oca.georgia.gov/training/mandated-reporting. Program/Activity Administrators are responsible for ensuring all staff complete the training and that copies of the certificate of completion are kept.

 

DEFINITIONS

Child/Minor: any person under the age of 18

Child Abuse: non-accidental physical injury, neglect, exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual exploitation.

Follow-Up

Upon receipt of a report, the AUPD will investigate any suspected child abuse on campus or involving an AU employee or volunteer and follow-up with DFCS as necessary.

University supervisors, program directors, and officials will take immediate action in order to protect the minor, to encourage employee or volunteer compliance with these directives, and to work with the AUPD during any investigation that results.

FAILURE TO REPORT

As defined by O.C.G.A. §19-7-5, the failure of mandatory reporters to report suspected child abuse is a violation of state law and may subject the individual to criminal penalties.

Failure of University employees or volunteers to comply with the directives herein may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination from employment or volunteer service.

NON-RETALIATION

Augusta University prohibits any employee, student, or volunteer from retaliating or taking any adverse action against another employee, student, or volunteer for reporting a reasonable suspicion of sexual or physical abuse or neglect of a minor. If an individual believes he or she is being retaliated against, the individual should contact his or her supervisor, human resources, and/or the Office of Compliance, Ethics, and Risk Management.

PROFESSIONAL LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

Some professional licensing associations may require additional reporting for certain professions. University employees, volunteers, and students holding such licenses are encouraged to consult the respective associations for more information.