All higher education employees are now required to complete online training along with a signed form that states they will report any witnessed child abuse or neglect.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services began enfocing the requirement in July after a public act passed in the Illinois General Assembly. Recently, online training became a requirement of the public act as well.
Chancellor Rita Cheng said the form has also become a nation-wide employee requirement.
“We immediately included the form in the employment paperwork, but the training portion took a little longer to implement,” Cheng said.
The training is a 10-page PowerPoint presentation that was emailed to all university employees Oct. 9. It details what situations are considered abuse and/or neglect, and it offers information on what employees should do if they suspect either offense.
Cheng said employees who work in colleges with on education and health care concentrations have always been required to complete the form and training, but it has now expanded to the entire university.
Toni Vagner, student employment manager, said neither the form nor the training has effected the university’s employment rate thus far.
DCFS tried to pass the bill before the Jerry Sandusky case, said Bruce Dubre, policy writer for DCFS. The department increased its efforts After the case went to trial, Dupre said.
He said the form was originally only mandated in Illinois, but it is now a nation-wide requirement.
“Every employee of an institution of higher education must sign the form before they can begin working,” Dubre said.
He said the form — approved June 27 by the Illinois Senate — is a result of Sandusky’s conviction.
Sandusky was the assistant football coach at Penn State in University Park, Penn., who coached for more than 32 years. Sandusky has been under investigation since 1998, but he was not arrested and charged with sexually abusing more than 10 boys over a 15-year period until December 2011.
Sandusky was found guilty June 22 on 45 out of 48 child sex abuse charges and sentenced Oct. 9 to 30-60 years in prison.