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Vulnerable Persons

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  • Type of Policy: HR, Office of Title IX Compliance
    Effective Date: January 2019
    Last Revised: January 2019

    Purpose

    This document states the University’s policy on preventing and reducing harm to children and vulnerable adults when they are in contact with University staff, workers, volunteers or students.

    The policy aims to:

    • Promote and prioritize the safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults;
    • Provide assurance to parents, employees, students and other parties that the University takes reasonable steps to manage risks and keep children and vulnerable adults safe;
    • Ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in respect of safeguarding, and is provided with the necessary information, training and support on safeguarding matters;
    • Prevent the employment of individuals in work with children and/or vulnerable adults where they have been charged and convicted of a crime against vulnerable adults or children, or are deemed by the University to pose an unacceptable risk to vulnerable groups;
    • Ensure that appropriate action is taken in the event of any allegations or suspicions regarding harm to children or vulnerable adults arising from contact with University employees, students or volunteers, whether the harm has taken place on University premises or not.

    Furthermore, 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.

    Scope

    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:

    1. university president
    2. provost
    3. senior/executive vice presidents
    4. vice presidents
    5. associate/vice provosts
    6. associate vice presidents
    7. deans
    8. chief of police
    9. equal opportunity programs director
    10. intercollegiate athletics director
    11. internal audit director
    12. Title IX coordinator
    13. university compliance officer

    Policy Statement

    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.

    Procedures

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

    Reporting Questions or Violations

    Reports may be made (24 hours a day, 365 days a year) by phone using a toll-free telephone number, by fax, or by web-based report. For more information and tips on successful reporting please go to:www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/abuse-hotline/howtoreport. Anyone reporting in good faith is immune from any civil or criminal liability.

    The Office of Title IX Compliance is responsible for overseeing implementation of and assuring compliance with this policy. This is who to contact with questions about the policy or to report suspected violations:

    Office of Title IX Compliance
    903 W. University Ave.
    352-273-1094
    www.TitleIX.ufl.edu
    InformTitleIX@ufl.edu

    Enforcement

    Failure to comply with this policy could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.


    Resources

    Training Video

    Protection of Vulnerable Persons Act Tips

    Definitions

    Vulnerable Person
    A person who is 18 years of age or over, and who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him/herself, or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or serious exploitation.

    Related Information

    Policy History

    Revision Date Author Description