"In the 2012 legislative session, the General Assembly passed legislation on reporting suspected child abuse and neglect. Specifically, the law requires "any person employed by a public or private institution of higher education" to report suspected instances of child abuse and neglect. All University employees are now required to contact local or state Social Services if they see or suspect child abuse or neglect. This law went into effect July 1, 2012.
University Human Resources has developed a web page at http://www.hr.virginia.edu/go/abuse-reporting with the legal definition of a neglected or abused child, instructions on where and how to report suspected child abuse or neglect, and other resources. I ask that you familiarize yourself with the basic definitions and requirements so that you know how to proceed if you encounter or suspect child abuse or neglect.
All employees need to be aware of this new legislation, particularly those of you who come in contact with children as part of your teaching, research, or other operations. I appreciate your support in helping us comply with this law, and encourage you to share it with your colleagues. If you have questions, please contact the HR Service Center at 982.0123 or email AskHR@virginia.edu."
In the past, researchers were not obligated to report abuse (though they were highly encouraged!) but the new legistlation changes their status. If you or anyone on your research team interact with children, please be aware of the signs of abuse and how to report. For more information about working with this population, please see Child Abuse on our website.