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Extension > Extension in your Community > Becker > 4-H > Articles > Staff and volunteers must report suspected child neglect and abuse

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Staff and volunteers must report suspected child neglect and abuse

While Minnesota Law requires people in certain professions to report suspected child neglect or abuse, the University of Minnesota’s Safety of Minors policy extends this reporting requirement to all faculty, staff and volunteers. All 4-H volunteers and staff, no matter their role or job duties, must promptly report suspected child abuse or neglect to local law enforcement or to the appropriate social services agency. 

If you witness, suspect, or receive a report of the abuse or neglect of a child participating in a 4-H program, you are required to take steps to protect the minor without further investigation. It is not the role of the volunteer or program staff to conduct an investigation. Doing so could, in fact, put the youth at further risk. If you know or suspect a child is in immediate danger, call 911 right away. It’s important to call 911 first to ensure that help is on the way, before attempting to remove the child from harm. After calling 911, take steps, if possible, to remove the child from the harmful situation. If the child is not in immediate danger, as soon as possible, but within 24 hours, contact local law enforcement or the appropriate social services agency to report the suspected abuse. After reporting to authorities, individuals are encouraged to notify their supervisor, if appropriate. Thank you for your important role in keeping youth safe.