Vulnerable Persons

State law requires a state university administrator,upon receiving information from another institution employee, to report known or suspected child abuse, neglect or abandonment (including physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse) that occurred on university property or at a university-sponsored event directly to the Department for Children and Families (DCF) via the Florida Abuse Hotline at (800) 962-2873 or via myflfamilies.com.*  According to this policy, children are defined as people (including students and others) under 18 years old.

The Board of Governors has defined administrators as the following high level personnel who have been assigned the responsibilities of university-wide academic or administrative functions:

  • university president
  • provost
  • senior/executive vice presidents
  • vice presidents
  • associate/vice provosts
  • associate vice presidents
  • deans
  • chief of police
  • equal opportunity programs director
  • intercollegiate athletics director
  • internal audit director
  • Title IX coordinator
  • university compliance officer

Institutional Penalties for Failure to Report
If a state university administrator knowingly and willfully fails to report or prevents another from reporting known or suspected child abuse, neglect or abandonment committed on university property (whether or not in a UF activity) or at a university-sponsored event, the university will be subject to a one million dollar fine for each failure.  The law provides that the DCF will determine whether child abuse, neglect or abandonment occurred; university administrators must report, even if there is a suspicion.

*Please note that, in addition to the above institutional requirements, all persons in Florida have an independent, individual obligation to report known or suspected child abuse, neglect and abandonment to the DCF Hotline at (800) 962-2873 or via myflfamilies.com. The abuser can be anyone—not just a parent or caretaker— including, if the abuse is sexual in nature, another child.  Knowing and willful failure to report constitutes a third-degree felony.)

Training for Administrators

All UF personnel who fall under the definition of administrator listed at left should make every effort to review the Protection of Vulnerable Persons training available on the Board of Governor’s website.