Policies and Procedures
  • Section VI - 1.50 (A) VI-1.50(A) Procedures for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect
    1. Purpose

      As a member of the University of Maryland Baltimore ("UMB") campus community, you are required to make a report whenever you have reason to believe that a current or past incident of child abuse or neglect has occurred.

      Reporting is required by Maryland law. See Maryland Annotated Code, Family Law Article, Sections 5-704(a) and 5-705(a).

      These Procedures are intended to assist in implementing the University System of Maryland's Policy on the Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (VI-1.50). The USM Policy provides direction and guidance on how Maryland's mandatory child maltreatment reporting laws apply in the university setting. The USM Policy may be found at http://www.usmd.edu/regents/bylaws/SectionVI/.

      Please visit http://www.umaryland.edu/offices/accountability/child_abuse/ for useful guidance and web links regarding the specific reporting requirements; the legal definitions of child abuse and neglect; indicators of different forms of child maltreatment; USM reporting forms; frequently asked questions (FAQs); and other information that will help you meet your responsibilities under Maryland law and USM Policy.

    2. Procedures
      1. Determining Whether You Need to Make a Report

        Under Maryland law, you must report if you have "reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect." In some instances, you may witness an incident or receive information that obviously will require a report. In other situations, the need to make a report may not be clear, especially when the information that you have is vague or substantially incomplete. In these unclear cases, consider the following:

        1. A.Would reporting the information provide Child Protective Services (CPS) or the police with enough information to initiate an investigation of possible incident?

          Essential information includes:

          1. i.Information that is sufficient to identify and contact the victim; and
          2. ii.Information that is sufficient to allow CPS or the police to determine whether the incident constituted child abuse or neglect under the law, including:
            1. Whether the victim was a child (i.e., under age 18) when the incident occurred;
            2. Whether the alleged perpetrator was a parent, household or family member, or other person who had care, custody or supervision of the child when the maltreatment occurred; and
            3. Whether the child was injured, harmed or at substantial risk of harm as a result of the alleged maltreatment.
        2. In the absence of sufficient information, you are not required to report the incident. However, you still should consider making a report if you genuinely suspect that it was child abuse or neglect, regardless of the information you may not have available. Please keep in mind that:
          1. The decision to make a report is appropriate and protected under the law and the USM Policy, if it is made in good faith.
          2. CPS encourages individuals to report if they have any genuine suspicion that child abuse or neglect may have occurred.
        3. If you have any concerns or doubts as to whether to report an incident, feel free to direct any questions to CPS or to consult with the UMB Chief Accountability Officer.

          Dr. Roger J. Ward
          Chief Accountability Officer
          University of Maryland, Baltimore
          Office of Accountability Compliance
          620 West Lexington Street, 5th Floor
          Baltimore, MD 21201
          Phone: (410) 706-1850
          child.abuse.and.neglect@umaryland.edu

        4. The "Frequently Asked Questions about Reporting Suspected Child Abuse in the USM" may provide you with helpful guidance. The FAQs appear at http://www.umaryland.edu/offices/accountability/child_abuse/faq.html.
      2. Making an Initial Oral Report
        1. Call the CPS Hotline or the police in the locality where the suspected abuse or neglect took place as soon as possible.
          1. A link to local Child Protective Services Reporting Hotline Numbers appears on the CPS website at: http://www.dhr.state.md.us/cps/address.php. Some CPS Hotline Numbers are as follows
            Anne Arundel County (410) 421-8400
            Baltimore City (410) 361-2235
            Baltimore County (410) 853-3000 (Option 1) / After hours: (410) 583-9398
            Cecil County (410) 996-0100 (Option 3) / After hours: (410) 996-5350
            Harford County (410) 836-4713 / After hours: (410) 838-6600 Sheriff's Office
            Howard County (410) 872-4203 / After hours: (410) 313-2929 Police Dept.
            Montgomery County (240) 777-4417
            Prince George's Co. (301) 909-2450 / After hours: (301) 699-8605
          2. You can report to the police by calling 911.
          3. If you are unsure of the location where the suspected maltreatment occurred, contact the Baltimore City CPS Hotline or the Baltimore City Police Department.
          4. Always call 911 immediately if you witness child abuse or neglect actually taking place.
        2. After making a report to CPS, you should also promptly inform the UMB Chief Accountability Officer if:
          1. You are a health practitioner, educator, human service worker, police officer, or "professional employee" of UMB and you learn of the maltreatment in the course of your duties at UMB; or
          2. The abuse or neglect involves:
            1. A USM employee, contractor, volunteer or student;
            2. An incident on UMB property; or
            3. An incident that took place in connection with a UMB-sponsored or recognized program or activity.
      3. Submitting a Follow-Up Written Report

        If you are a health practitioner, educator, human service worker, police officer, or UMB professional employee who makes a report in the course of your work duties, you must follow up your oral report with a written report within 48 hours of when you suspected that an incident of abuse or neglect occurred.

        1. Please use either one of the following forms:
          1. The USM Form "University System of Maryland Report of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect" for reporting child abuse/neglect. The form is available at http://www.umaryland.edu/offices/accountability/child_abuse/reporting_form.html.
          2. The State of Maryland, Child Protective Services, Report of Suspected Child Abuse/Neglect (DHR Form 180). The form is available at http://www.dhr.state.md.us/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/form180.pdf.
        2. Although only a health practitioner, educator, human service worker, police officer, or UMB professional employee are required to submit a written report, other individuals are encouraged to complete and submit the form if they suspect child abuse or neglect.
        3. This form should be sent to CPS and the police. If appropriate under Section II.2.B, it should also be sent to the UMB Chief Accountability Officer.
        4. Every effort should be made by those making a report to protect the privacy of the child, the child’s family, and the information exchanged. Reports should be sent in a sealed envelope marked "confidential."
      4. Necessary Information
        1. Reports should include all of the following information, to the extent that it is known by the individual reporting:
          1. The name, age, address and whereabouts of the child;
          2. The name and address of the child’s parents or other caregiver(s);
          3. The nature and extent of the suspected maltreatment; and
          4. Any other information that may help in identifying the abuser or neglector or determine the cause.
        2. You are only required to report information that is witnessed by you, disclosed to you, or which you have learned as part of your regular professional responsibilities (e.g., a health care practitioner's review of medical reports or records).
          1. You are not expected or encouraged to interview the child or conduct any independent inquiry into the incident or disclosure that led to the belief that abuse or neglect has occurred. Reporters should not initiate their own investigation of the alleged maltreatment.
          2. In some cases, you will not have sufficient information to complete the form. Simply report the information that you have and leave the other items blank.
        3. While you are personally responsible for reporting suspected child maltreatment, duplicative reporting is not required under the law or USM Policy in these situations:
          1. If you are a UMB employee or student working at a location off-campus (such as a hospital, public health agency, child care institution, juvenile detention center, school, or similar institution), and are acting as a staff member of that facility, you are only required to report the suspected maltreatment to CPS and the head of that facility. You are not required to report it to the UMB Chief Accountability Officer, unless the suspected abuser or neglector is an employee, contractor, or volunteer of UMB.
          2. If you and another UMB colleague develop a reason to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred in the process of your work together (e.g., as members of a treatment team, or through an employee/supervisor relationship), you may file a single, joint report.
          3. If a disclosure of past abuse or neglect is made in a public group setting (e.g., in class or at a campus event), the individual(s) responsible for convening the group or event is responsible for making the report on behalf of the other attendees.
      5. Reporting Follow-Up
        1. Depending upon the specific circumstances of the alleged child maltreatment, you may be contacted by CPS, the UMB Chief Accountability Officer, or the UMB Police for more information after making a report.
        2. Your identity as a reporter of suspected child abuse or neglect will be kept confidential by both CPS and UMB.
        3. Maryland law and USM Policy offer immunity from reprisal to any member of the campus community for making a good faith report of child maltreatment.
        4. Under State and Federal child abuse confidentiality laws, it is possible that you will not be informed of the results of the child maltreatment investigation that was initiated in response to your report. If you are not contacted by CPS, the UMB Chief Accountability Officer, or the UMB Police, please do not assume that the concern which you reported was not investigated or addressed.
        5. By following the provisions of the USM Policy and these procedures in good faith, you will have met your obligations under the law and the policy to report suspected child maltreatment.
      6. Special Concerns when Reporting Past Abuse Disclosed by an Adult Victim

        Maryland citizens are required to follow the State's reporting requirements for suspected child abuse or neglect, even if they learn about the maltreatment for the first time from an adult victim who was under the age of 18 when the incident occurred. USM institutions (including UMB) are obligated to follow this requirement. This is set forth in the official Attorney General's Opinion interpreting Maryland's child abuse reporting laws ( see http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opinions/1993/78oag189.pdf).

        1. The reporting requirements are the same for information about past abuse. According to CPS, these reports are important to "determine whether children in the household or care of the alleged abuser or neglector are currently in need of protection." (Department of Human Resources Circular Letter SSA 95-14).
        2. In many instances of past abuse disclosed by an adult victim, the information disclosed to you may be incomplete.
          1. Use the guidance in Section II.1 of these procedures to determine whether the information is sufficient to make a report.
          2. Once again, it is not necessary for you to approach or interview the victim to obtain additional information. Simply report the information that you do have available, especially any information that helps CPS to determine whether children currently are at risk of abuse or neglect:
            1. The identity and whereabouts, if known, of the alleged abuser or neglector;
            2. The identity and whereabouts of any children who may currently require protection from the alleged abuser or neglector; and
            3. Any other information that would help to determine the nature and cause of the suspected maltreatment and the identity of the suspected abuser/neglector.
        3. You are required to report the name and contact information that you have regarding the adult victim. However, if you have any reason to be concerned that the adult victim may be distressed or will otherwise experience negative consequences as a result of your report:
          1. Make that concern clear when you make your report orally and, if required, in writing; and
          2. Consult with the UMB Chief Accountability Officer.
        4. While it is not required that you inform the adult victim that you are making a report, you should feel free to do so.

    Questions regarding these Procedures and its application should be directed to the UMB Chief Accountability Officer.

    Effective November 2, 2012

    Indexing Key Words: Child abuse, child neglect, reporting child abuse or neglect, Child Protective Services Policy Abstract: The Procedures provide direction and guidance to the UMB community on the application of Maryland mandatory child maltreatment laws. Guidance is offered in determining the circumstances under which a report of child neglect or abuse must be made under the law, including past child abuse or neglect of adult victims. Directions are provided on how to make a report, and a description of the entities to which reports must be made is provided. Procedural direction is offered about completing the required forms and the information needed to be reported when making a written report. The Procedures also indicate the requirements of UMB to protect the anonymity of those reporting and for insuring no reprisals are taken. Approved on November 2, 2012

    "Professional employee" means a person employed by the USM as a: (1) faculty member; (2) administrator; (3) coach; or (4) other employee who provides academic support, student service, or institutional support activities, whose duties require either a college degree or comparable experience.