Protection of Minors and Reporting of Child Abuse

Policy Number: 
Reason for Policy: 

This Policy sets forth responsibilities related to the protection of minors at the university. This Policy requires reporting of child abuse to local authorities, and provides additional guidance and training requirements for university-affiliated youth programs and activities.

Entities Affected by this Policy: 

This Policy applies to all employees, including faculty and staff, student employees, including graduate employees, and temporary employees, volunteers, and others affiliated with youth programs.

Responsible Office: 

For questions about this policy, please contact the Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration: (541) 346-3003,

Enactment & Revision History: 

24 April 2023 – Policy revisions approved by University Interim President Jamie Moffitt.

30 January 2023 – Policy revisions extended, authorized by University Interim President Patrick Phillips, pending Policy Advisory Council review; sunsets 30 April 2023.

31 May 2022 – Policy revisions temporarily authorized by the University President, pending Policy Advisory Council review; sunsets 20 November 2022.

28 March 2017 - Approved by the university president


The University of Oregon is committed to complying with mandatory reporting legal obligations and providing a safe and positive experience for minors. Faculty, staff, students, student employees, including undergraduate and graduate employees, and volunteers are expected to hold themselves to the highest standards of conduct when interacting with minors.  This policy should be read and interpreted to be consistent with state and federal law. This policy and the associated youth program procedures are outlined as follows:

  1. All employees of the University of Oregon are, by law, mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. See Oregon Revised Statute 419B.005. University employees therefore have a duty to make a report to the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) or a law enforcement agency when there is reasonable cause to believe any child with whom the employee comes in contact has suffered abuse or that any person with whom the employee comes in contact has abused a child.The duty of employees of public universities to report incidents of child abuse applies at all times, not just to those incidents occurring during working hours or on campus.  For incidents that relate to university authorized activities, all university employees are expected to make the report immediately to the University of Oregon Police Department (541-346-2919). For all other reporting situations, reports may be made to either the local law enforcement agency or the DHS Child Abuse Hotline (1-855-503-7233); reporting to the University of Oregon Police Department satisfies this requirement.


  1. University volunteers working with a university youth program have a duty to report incidents of child abuse and neglect related to the program they are volunteering for to their youth program supervisor.

For the purpose of this policy and reporting responsibility, “child” means an individual under 18 years of age. For purposes of this policy and reporting responsibility, “abuse” includes, but is not limited to:

• Assault of a child;

• Physical injury to a child caused by other than accidental means;

• Any mental injury to a child caused by cruelty to a child;

• Rape of a child;

• Sexual abuse of a child;

• Sexual exploitation of a child;

• Negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child;

• Threatened harm to a child;

• Buying or selling of a child;

• Allowing a child on the premises where methamphetamine is being manufactured; and

• Unlawful exposure to a controlled substance that subjects a child to risk of harm.

University employees and volunteers working with youth programs must comply with the Youth Programs procedures, including standards for:

a. Mandatory reporting

b. Criminal background checks

c. Conduct requirements

d. Training

e. Registration of programs

For the purpose of this policy and the accompanying procedures, “youth programs” is defined as all university affiliated events, operations, endeavors, or activities designed for participation by minors in which university employees or volunteers are responsible for the care, custody, or control of minors. Youth programs include but are not limited to day camps, overnight camps, clinics, instructional programs, and sports camps and virtual youth programing. Youth programs also include third party programs involving the care, custody or control of minors that use university facilities through a contractual relationship or other formal partnership with a university unit or department.  Youth Program does not include the following:

  • Undergraduate or graduate academic programs, classes, or activities in which all individuals under the age of 18 are enrolled students or students admitted for enrollment.
  • Events open to the public that minors may attend, but where the university is not accepting care, custody, or control for the minor(s), as those terms are defined in the implementing procedures.
  • Non-Youth programs where minors are working for the university as employees, volunteers, or interns. University employees and volunteers will be required to comply with the conduct requirements when working with minors. University employees and volunteers working directly with minors are required to have an updated background check processed.
  • University employees or volunteers who may have incidental contact with minors but do not work directly with minors in a youth program. All university employees will be required to comply with mandatory reporting requirements under this policy and any implementing procedures and under the law.
  • University day care centers as they fall under separate regulatory requirements.


  1. Non-compliance with this Policy, including the Youth Program procedures, may result in discipline up to and including termination of employment or volunteer duties. To the extent there is a conflict between a separate state or federal law or to the extent that state or federal law already regulate an activity (e.g. licensed child care facilities, Institutional review board (IRB)- approved research), the state or federal law will supersede this policy).
  • Volume IV: Finance, Administration and Infrastructure
  • Chapter 5: Public Safety and Risk Services
Original Source: 
UO Policy Statement