Youth at UW

Under Executive Order 56: Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect, University employees and volunteers must report suspected child abuse or neglect as soon as possible and no later than 48 hours after suspecting the abuse has taken place. 

Definitions of Abuse or Neglect

The Washington State Abuse of Children Law (RCW 26.44) includes the following definitions: Child or Children means any person under the age of eighteen years of age.

Child abuse includes:

  • Physical Abuse: The non-accidental infliction of physical injury on or physical mistreatment of a child, when it may cause harm to the child’s health, welfare, or safety.
  • Negligent Treatment: An act or  failure to act, or the cumulative effects of a pattern of conduct, behavior, or inaction, that evidences a serious disregard of consequences that constitute a clear and present danger to a child’s health, welfare, or safety.
  • Sexual Abuse: committing or allowing any sexual offense against a child, including intentional touching of sexual or intimate parts for the purpose of sexual gratification
  • Sexual Exploitation: Allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution, or obscene or pornographic depictions of a child.
  • Abandonment: A parent or guardian foregoing the responsibility to provide essential care to a child.

For questions about your reporting requirements, contact or call 206-616-5153. If you have safety concerns about a situation but are not sure if it warrants a report, you can call SafeCampus 206-685 SAFE (7233) to discuss the situation. All calls are private and you may remain anonymous.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect: When to make a report

Who to call

If you are concerned about the immediate safety of a child call 911.

To fulfill your obligation to report:

1. Call either

  • The University of Washington Police Department at 206-685-8973 / TTY 206-543-3323 or the law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction of the suspected incident.
  • The Department of Children, Youth and Families at 1-866-ENDHARM (363-4276) (TTY accessible).

2. AND, if the suspected child abuse or neglect occurred in a University program or at any University facility, University employees and volunteers must ALSO call SafeCampus at 206-685-SAFE (7233) immediately after reporting to law enforcement or DCYF.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect: What & How to report

EO 56 reporting steps flow chart
What to report

You will be asked to report only what you know, and are not expected to do any type of review or investigation prior to reporting. You may be asked about.

  • The name, address, and age of the child
  • Contact information for a parent or guardian
  • Identifying information of the person suspected of committing the child abuse or neglect
  • A description of the incident, what was disclosed or witnessed, or other information that led you to suspect abuse or neglect has occurred

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Reporting behaviors of concern:

What do I do if I have concerns that one of my program staff/my coworker is violating the standards for interacting with youth?

If you believe a staff member involved in a UW youth program has violated the Standards for Interacting with Youth you must report it to SafeCampus at 206-685-7233 within 48 hours. If you believe that they have violated the standards in a way that causes concern that abuse or neglect may have occurred, you must additionally contact either DCYF Child Protective Services or law enforcement. View more information about reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.

I have concerns about my program staff’s interactions with a youth participant, but I am not sure if it is a violation of the Standards for Interacting with Youth or not. Should I call SafeCampus?

If you are unsure if someone’s behavior is a violation of the Standards, you can first review the accompanying Behaviors of Concern continuum [PDF] which further defines behaviors of concern and can help guide which action to take. Additionally, you can contact SafeCampus or the Office for Youth Programs Development and Support at for guidance.

I believe my coworker has violated these Standards. I brought it up to my supervisor, but they did not take my concerns seriously. I want to call SafeCampus. Can I be retaliated against by my supervisor?

You can not be retaliated against for reporting concerns to SafeCampus as part of your obligations under this policy. As part of UW APS 46.3 you are protected when making a complaint about a University employee and can not be retaliated against. Additionally, SafeCampus and the Office for Youth Programs Development and Support will work with you to protect your identity as best as they are able, while taking steps to address the violations you have reported.

Additional Resources