It is the policy of Tacoma Community College that all employees report suspected child abuse as described below. The report must be made at the first opportunity, and never later than 48 hours after the college employee has reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered abuse or neglect.
The purpose of this policy is to comply with applicable state laws and to implement a mechanism for reporting of child abuse.
To Whom Does This Policy Apply
This policy applies to all employees of the college.
Child: any person under the age of eighteen years of age
Abuse: sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or injury of a child by any person under circumstances which cause harm to the child's health, welfare, or safety, or the negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for or providing care to the child.
Academic Employee: Any instructor, teacher, counselor, librarian, department head, or vocational program chair, who is employed by the college.
Administrative Employee: Any employee employed in a non-academic, non-classified service position meeting the definition of exemption from classified service in accordance with RCW 41.06 and typically including all executive, administrative, and professional personnel. Exempt employee does not include part-time temporary employees exempt from classified service under the definition of part-time temporary.
Abused child: A child who has been subjected to child abuse or neglect.
Allowable physical discipline: physical discipline that is reasonable and moderate and is inflicted by a parent, teacher, or guardian for purposes of restraining or correcting the child. Any use of force on a child by any other person is unlawful unless it is reasonable and moderate and is authorized in advance by the child's parent or guardian for purposes of restraining or correcting the child.
Academic, Administrative, and Athletic employees, including Student employees of the Athletic Department, must make any report directly to the proper law enforcement agency or the department of social and health services. Contact numbers are as follows:
Child Protective Services – 253.983.6100 (Monday-Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm)
800.562.5624 (evenings or weekends)
After the report has been made to Child Protective Services, the employee shall notify the Vice President of Administrative Services that a report of suspected child abuse was filed with the proper law enforcement agency or department of social and health services.
All other employees, including student employees, must make any report directly to the Vice President of Administrative Services via phone, in person, or email. The Vice President for Administrative Services can be reached as follows:
Phone – 253.566.5050
e-Mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
In Person – Building 14, Human Resources Office.
The Vice President of Administrative Services must make report to the proper law enforcement agency or the department of social and health services
ELEMENTS OF REPORT
The report must include as much detail as possible and must include the identity of the accused if known. Employees are not required to interview the suspected victim.
- The name, address, and age of the child;
- The name and address of the child's parents, stepparents, guardians, or other persons having custody of the child;
- The nature and extent of the alleged injury or injuries;
- The nature and extent of the alleged neglect;
- The nature and extent of the alleged sexual abuse;
- Any evidence of previous injuries, including their nature and extent;
- Any other information that may be helpful in establishing the cause of the child's injury, injuries or death,
- The identity of the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators.
The reporting requirement above does not apply to the discovery of abuse or neglect that occurred during childhood if it is discovered after the child has become an adult. However, if there is reasonable cause to believe other children are or may be at risk of abuse or neglect by the accused, the reporting requirement does apply and a report must be made.
IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY
Any person reporting alleged child abuse or neglect in good faith shall be immune from any legal liability arising out of such reporting.
A person who, in good faith cooperates in an investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect shall not be subject to civil liability arising out of his or her cooperation.
However, a person who, intentionally and in bad faith, knowingly makes a false report of alleged abuse or neglect shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and violation of college policy.
The Vice President of Administrative Services is the college’s designee to receive reports and provide guidance regarding an employee’s reporting obligations.