Any Wheaton College employee or volunteer observing, perceiving, or receiving a credible report of any specific incident of child abuse, sexual abuse or neglect must report the incident directly to the appropriate authority without delay. There is no option for confidentiality in the case of suspected child abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. In other words, all mandated reporters with reasonable cause to believe that a child may be abused, sexually abused, or neglected must contact the proper authorities.
Child abuse is the mistreatment of a child under the age of 18 by:
- A parent or their romantic partner;
- An immediate relative or someone living in their home;
- A caretaker such as a babysitter or daycare worker; or
- Any person responsible for the child’s welfare, such as a health care provider, educator, coach or youth program volunteer.
- The mistreatment can either result in injury or put the child at serious risk of injury. Child abuse can be physical (i.e. bruises or broken bones), sexual (i.e. fondling or incest), or mental (emotional injury or psychological illness).
Neglect is the failure of a parent or caretaker to meet “minimal parenting” standards for providing adequate supervision, food, clothing, medical care, shelter or other basic needs.
For conduct relating to a child in Illinois, the report should be made to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Hotline by calling 1-800-252-2873 or 1-800-25ABUSE. For incidents occurring outside of Illinois, the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the location of the incident is the appropriate law enforcement agency. If there is any doubt regarding the proper authorities to contact or an incident is observed in progress, call 911 and report the incident as quickly and clearly as possible.
Mandated reporters are also required by this Policy to report suspected child abuse and neglect involving Wheaton College students, employees, or volunteers to the Title IX Coordinators/Discrimination Complaint Officers.