Office of the Provost

Protecting Children From Abuse

Q-1. How do I report suspected child abuse or sexual misconduct with a child at the University?

Anyone who has reasonable cause to suspect child abuse, including but not limited to sexual abuse, that is connected in any way to the University shall report it.  At a minimum, someone who suspects such child abuse shall immediately report the matter to the University police and the Chancellor or Executive Vice Chancellor.  The University police shall also notify the Chancellor, the Executive Vice Chancellor and the Office of General Counsel. The Chancellor or the Executive Vice Chancellor shall notify the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and any other governmental unit or person as may be required by law.  Retaliation is strictly prohibited against anyone who makes a good faith report of suspected child abuse or who participates in a related investigation. 

Q-2. What are key phone numbers I should be aware of for reporting at Pitt? 

University Police: 412-624-2121
Office of the Chancellor: 412-624-4200
Office of Executive Vice Chancellor: 412-624-4247
Off-Campus Emergency: 911
Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare ChildLine for Abuse Reporting: 1-800-932-0313

Q-3.  Where can I receive training for working with children, spotting problems, and reporting?

If you have a significant likelihood of regular contact with children, your department should ensure you are trained on the protection of children.  One place you may receive such training from the University is through United Educators’ on-line training course entitled, “Sexual Misconduct: How Teachers and Other Educators Can Protect Our Children” (higher ed module). To obtain an account to take this online course, login to https://my.pitt.edu  and click on “Protecting Children from Abuse On-line Course”.

Q-4.  Under what circumstances must I request and submit background checks because I have contact with children, and what checks?

At a minimum, if you have a significant likelihood of regular contact with children you must have the: 1) Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance; 2) Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check; and 3) FBI Criminal Record Check.  Contact your department head if you are unsure if the checks are required.  Information on the background checks is found at: http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/findaform/childabusehistoryclearanceforms/S_001087

Q-5.  Are vendors or volunteers required to have background checks?

Yes if they will have a significant likelihood of regular contact with children, if required by law, or if a department deems background checks advisable for the activity in which the volunteer is participating.  Persons volunteering for the University should undergo similar checks and training as employees if they will have a significant likelihood of regular contact with children.  Vendors, third party providers and third party users of University facilities should be required by contract to show that similar background checks been performed if the activity in which they will be involved will bring with it a significant likelihood of regular contact with children or for other reasons.

Q-6.  If I am a student, must I have background checks performed?

Students should refer to their school or departmental requirements that are usually found in the school’s student handbook.  Student employees will be required to have checks and training just as any other employees may be required where they have a significant likelihood of regular contact with children.

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