By Amy Dickerson and Scott Warner
This morning, Governor Quinn signed into law HB3887 requiring all Illinois college and university employees to report suspected child abuse or neglect. Effective immediately, Public Act 97-0711 amends the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA) to expressly make all “personnel of institutions of higher education” mandated reporters, requiring such individuals to report to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) if they have reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be abused or neglected.
This amendment formally enacts the position announced by DCFS that ANCRA’s reporting obligations apply to all employees of higher education institutions. In light of DCFS’ announcement, several institutions throughout the state have already taken measures to train certain staff members about ANCRA’s reporting obligations and procedures. In light of this new amendment, all Illinois colleges and universities should immediately take steps to make sure that all employees understand their obligations as mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect.