Workplace Practices: Protection of Minors & Vulnerable Individuals
|August 20, 2013
Date to be reviewed:
|August 1, 2014
|Director of Human Resources|
Wheeling Jesuit University presents a collegiate environment and a Catholic mindset that welcomes and encourages activities and events for youth, the impaired and the elderly. As the only Catholic University in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Wheeling Jesuit University supports the policies of the Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston with regard to minors to assure that all who work with minors or other vulnerable individuals understand their compliance obligations under state law.
2.1 Reference and Requirements
This policy is in support of the Policy Relating to Sexual Abuse of Children issued by the Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston, which, in turn, is in compliance with Chapter 49, Child Welfare, Article 6A, Reports of Children Suspected to be Abused or Neglected, of the West Virginia Code. All individuals required to complete the Diocesan Safe Environment Program must: 1) complete a background check, 2) complete a mandated in-service or on-line workshop (“Virtus” or an alternate offered through the Human Resource Department), and 3) acknowledge in writing receipt of a copy of the Policy Relating to Sexual Abuse of Children.
Minors: Individuals under the age of eighteen (18)
Vulnerable Individuals: Individuals who are physically, mentally, or emotionally impaired and the elderly.
Abuse: Sexual assault and sexual abuse; elder abuse including the infliction or threat to inflict physical pain or injury on vulnerable individuals; and child abuse including physical injury, mental or emotional injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and maltreatment of a child that harms or threatens his or her health and welfare. The West Virginia Law on Sexual Assault defines three degrees of sexual assault and three degrees of sexual abuse. These crimes include sexual intercourse, sexual intrusion, and sexual contact (including fondling directly or through clothing) without the consent of the victim due to forced participation or incapacity to consent. A lack of consent may occur if the victim is physically helpless or is deemed incapable of giving consent due to age, mental disease or defect, or mental incapacitation from a controlled substance or intoxicating substance.
2.3 Protected Individuals
The individuals protected by this policy include both minors and vulnerable individuals as defined in 2.2 above.
2.4 Background Check
2.4.1 Employees or volunteers who have direct interaction with University students or minors on an on- going basis in either a supervisory or instructional capacity, including interaction with minors on behalf of the University, either on or off-campus, are required to undergo a background check as a condition of employment or volunteer service; these background checks will be coordinated through Human Resources.
2.4.2 Students over the age of eighteen (18) who have direct interaction with minors on an on-going basis, in either a supervisory or instructional capacity, either on or off campus, through Campus Ministry, are required to complete a background check; student background checks will be coordinated through Campus Ministry.
2.4.3 Contractors and consultants are required to provide evidence that they have completed satisfactory background checks prior to working on campus if they have, or could possibly have, interaction with University students or minors.
2.5.1 Employees, volunteers, or students over the age of eighteen (18) who, on an on-going basis, interact with, or could possibly interact with, a minor in a University sponsored event, either on or off-campus, or a non-University sponsored event on campus, on an on-going basis, must complete the “Virtus” training provided by the Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston. This training may be completed on-line or in a group session sponsored by the University through Campus Ministry or the Human Resource Professional Development Program. If an individual objects to the “Virtus” training on religious grounds, he or she should contact the Human Resource Department for an alternate form of training.
2.5.2 Employees, volunteers, students, or others over the age of eighteen (18) who interact with a minor in a University sponsored event on or off campus or a non-University sponsored event on campus on a brief, one-time, basis, must acknowledge their mandate to report abuse per Chapter 49, Child Welfare, Article 6A, Reports of Children Suspected to be Abused or Neglected, of the West Virginia Code by acknowledging in writing receipt of the Agreement to Report Suspected Abuse of Minors and / or Impaired Others.
2.5.3 Contractors and consultants are required to acknowledge in writing their mandate to report abuse per Chapter 49, Child Welfare, Article 6A, Reports of Children Suspected to be Abused or Neglected, of the West Virginia Code, and their receipt of the Agreement to Report Suspected Abuse of Minors and / or Impaired Others.
2.5.4 Individuals on campus who are staffing or administering on an on-going or multi-day non-University sponsored events on campus including minors or vulnerable individuals will be required to provide documentation that their sponsoring organization has trained them on similar, suitable, requirements. If not, they must complete the University requirements noted in 2.4.3, 2.5.1, and 2.5.3 above.
2.6 Mandate to Report
2.6.1 Under West Virginia Code and the guidelines of the Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston, any individual Identified in 2.4 – 2.5 who witnesses, has actual knowledge of, or has reasonable cause to suspect the abuse or neglect of a protected individual is mandated to immediately report such abuse through the Abuse and Neglect Hotline (1-800-352-6513) or your Regional Department of health and Human Resources where you reside. You are also requested to notify both the Police and Campus Security.
2.6.2 The University will not retaliate against any individual making a report under either scenario defined herein, including adverse employment actions. The right of protection against retaliation does not include immunity for any personal wrongdoing that is alleged and investigated. An employee who intentionally files a false report of wrongdoing will be subject to discipline per the corrective action policy up to and including termination.
2.7.1 Employees, contractor, consultants, volunteers, or students over the age of eighteen (18) who successfully complete both the background check and the Virtus or alternate training will be issued, and must acknowledge in writing receipt of, an abbreviated, condensed, version of the Policy Relating to Sexual Abuse of Children that is applicable to University employees and students (note: individuals who complete the alternate course offered by the Human Resource Department will be issued and must acknowledge in writing receipt of a copy of Chapter 49, Child Welfare, Article 6A, Reports of Children Suspected to be Abused or Neglected, of the West Virginia Code, and the Agreement to Report Suspected Abuse of Minors and / or Impaired Others). The records of training will be maintained by Campus Ministry (for students and volunteers) and the Human Resource Department (for employees, contractors, consultants, volunteer employees, and others who rent facilities on a one-time basis).
2.7.2 Employees, volunteers, or students over the age of eighteen (18) working through Campus Ministry and have an on-going interaction with minors must successfully complete both the background check and the Virtus training; they will be issued, and must acknowledge in writing receipt of, the Policy Relating to Sexual Abuse of Children as issued by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. The records of training will be maintained by Campus Ministry and the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.
The Director of Human Resources, in conjunction with the President, and pending review for compliance by the Director of Campus Ministry and the Director of Counseling Services, has the authority to change or modify this policy at any time with or without notice, and with the approval of the Board of Trustees through the University President.