Protection of Minors at Columbia

Columbia welcomes minors to our campus every day. They are part of our academic programs and activities, athletic programs, summer camps, the (K-8) School at Columbia University, medical clinics and practices, and affiliated childcare centers. We all bear a special responsibility for their care and protection, and we all need to act immediately when we reasonably suspect they may be at risk.

Click here for the recent executive memorandum on the duty to report suspected cases of abuse and maltreatment of individuals under the age of 18.

Reporting Suspected Abuse and Maltreatment of Minors

If you believe that a minor may have been abused or maltreated, you must take the following steps:

  • If a child is in immediate danger or you require emergency assistance, call 911.
  • If you suspect child abuse or maltreatment:
    • Call the New York State Child Abuse & Maltreatment Hotline: 800-342-3720 and
    • Call the Department of Public Safety: 212-854-5555 (Morningside) or 212-305-7979 (Medical Center).

    You are also strongly encouraged to notify the appropriate program director.

Policy: Reporting Suspected Abuse and Maltreatment of Minors

This policy creates an independent duty for members of the Columbia University community who interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee minors in programs or activities at the University or sponsored by the University to report immediately in they have reasonable cause to suspect abuse or maltreatment of individuals under the age of 18.

Any members of the Columbia University community may report abuse if they suspect that a child has been abused or maltreated.

Access the policy here.

Training: Protection of Minors at Columbia

This course is designed to familiarize members of the Columbia community with University policy and relevant law on reporting suspected child abuse and maltreatment of minors. The course includes definitions of child abuse and maltreatment, possible signs and indicators, appropriate responses, how to report a concern, and appropriate interactions with minors.

The Protection of Minors Training will be offered both online via Courseworks, as well in a few limited live training sessions during the month of June 2013.

Who should take this Course?

Members of the Columbia University community, who interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee minors in programs or activities at the University or sponsored by the University.

Webcast (30 Minutes)

For the convenient online, 30-minute webcast, you can send an email with your name and UNI to pomtraining@columbia.edu. (You must provide a valid UNI to take the training.) If you would like to register all your team or staff, please send a list with their names and UNIs to pomtraining@columbia.edu.

Click here to access the instructions on how to access the training after you have submitted your UNI.

Live Training

Several live sessions of the Protection of Minors Training have been conducted. If you are interested in a face-to-face training for your group, please contact us at pomtraining@columbia.edu.

Flyer: Protection of Minors

PDF

We encourage you to download, print, and post this flyer in areas that have programs or activities involving minors. This flyer highlights the duty of members of the Columbia University community who interact with, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee minors in programs or activities at the University or sponsored by the University to report immediately if they have reasonable cause to suspect abuse or maltreatment of individuals under the age of 18.

Any members of the Columbia University community may report abuse if they suspect that a child has been abused or maltreated.

Download and/or print a copy of the flyer.
Hard copies and/or larger posters are available upon request at compliance@columbia.edu.

Resources for the Protection of Minors

Recognizing & Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect
This brochure from the NYC Administration for Children’s Services addresses questions often asked by friends, neighbors, and relatives about recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect.

Parent’s Guide to New York State Child Neglect and Abuse Laws (Fourth Edition)
As part of its ongoing effort to ensure the safety and well being of New York City’s children, Children’s Services has produced this Fourth edition of the Parent’s Guide to the New York State Child Neglect and Abuse Laws. Children’s Services acknowledges the many challenges that families and children encounter. This publication provides useful information about the New York State laws that protect children.

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-Serving Organizations
This 48-page guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services includes chapters on prevention, overcoming challenges, developing processes, and implementing training.

Resources for Mandated Reporters

Summary Guide for Mandated Reporters in New York State (Pub. 1159)

This material provides mandated reporters with an overview of their obligations and some basic information about the New York State Child Protective Services (CPS) system.

Mandated Reporter Self-Directed Online Training

This online, two hour, web-based online training course is sponsored by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. This course meets the New York State Education Department mandatory requirements for Training in Child Abuse Identification and Reporting.

Related Laws

Primary Guidance to Which This Policy Responds

Information for Parents & Families

Columbia University is committed to promoting a safe environment for minors who participate in our programs and activities. We have taken a number of important steps to establish safeguards for your child:

  • We have revised our policy on Reporting Suspected Abuse and Maltreatment of Minors.
  • We have established clear requirements for reporting abuse and maltreatment.
  • We have widely disseminated a flyer reminding employees and volunteers how to make a report.
  • We have developed a website that contains valuable information on the protection of minors at Columbia.
  • We are educating members of the University community about the signs of abuse and maltreatment and how to make a report.
  • We are requiring certain categories of adults who participate in programs or activities involving minors to clear criminal background checks and other screening requirements.

You can read the University’s policy and access other helpful resources at http://compliance.columbia.edu/minors.html.

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