Wellesley College Policy on Safety and Well-Being of Minors

Commitment to Protecting Minors

Wellesley College (Wellesley or the College) is committed to safeguarding all children and youth involved in our programs or on our campus. The following Policy and Program Guidelines provide direction to employees, students, contractors, vendors and volunteers about expected codes of behavior and sound procedures. Wellesley College will not tolerate any abuse or neglect of a minor in any form (physical, sexual, or emotional) in any Wellesley program or on the Wellesley campus. This Policy and related procedures are intended to ensure that child protection concerns will be properly addressed and that our programs for children will be safe.

This Policy covers all operations and programs of Wellesley College which involve minors, including without limitation, educational, outreach, summer programs, athletic programs, art, theater and any other operations whether on or off the premises of Wellesley. For purposes of reporting abuse or neglect, a minor is anyone under the age of 18. This Policy applies to all employees, students, contractors, vendors, volunteers and others who are interacting with minors on campus or in a Wellesley College program or activity.

Reporting of Abuse or Neglect

All College employees and anyone participating in a Wellesley College program or activity involving minors who knows, suspects, or receives information indicating that a minor has been abused or neglected, or who has other concerns about the safety of minors, are expected to inform the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) immediately by phone, at one of the numbers listed below. More information about warning signs of child abuse and neglect can be found here.

In addition, anyone who knows of or suspects abuse or neglect of minors should immediately notify the Wellesley College Police. In an emergency, call (781) 283-5555 or 911 to reach campus police. Wellesley College Police’s non-emergency line is (781) 283-2121. Wellesley College Police is responsible ensuring reporting to DCF and to the Town of Wellesley Police Department.

When it is safe and appropriate to do so, College employees are encouraged to also inform their supervisor, department or division head.

Wellesley College will not retaliate or discriminate against any person who makes a good faith report of child abuse or neglect.

Additional Obligations for Mandated Reporters

Massachusetts law defines individuals in certain occupations and professions as Mandated Reporters; the following non-exhaustive list includes those categories more likely to apply to a Wellesley College employee:

  • Physicians, nurses; emergency medical technicians;
  • Private school (k-12) teachers, educational administrators, guidance or family counselors;
  • Early education, preschool, child care or after school program staff;
  • Police officers;
  • Allied mental health and licensed human services professionals;
  • Psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers, drug and alcoholism counselors;
  • Persons in charge of a medical or other public or private institution, school or facility or their agents;
  • Clergy members.

Mandated Reporters who, in their professional capacity, have reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering abuse or neglect, including any physical or emotional injury, must report immediately to DCF. During regular business hours, call the DCF Area Office that serves the city or town where the minor lives (preferable) or, if the minor’s city or town of residence is not known, DCF’s Framingham Area Office (508) 424-0100. After hours, call DCF’s 24-hour Child-At-Risk Hotline, 1-800-792-5200.

Within 48 hours of making a verbal report, a Mandated Reporter must also file a written report with DCF detailing the suspected abuse or neglect. There is no need to investigate or wait for proof of abuse or neglect before reporting.

More information about these obligations can be found here. The Wellesley College Police is available to assist Mandated Reporters throughout the process.

Making a report to College administrators does not exempt Mandated Reporters from also reporting abuse or neglect to DCF.

Questions: For more information, including a more complete definition of the types of abuse and neglect that are reportable under Massachusetts law and/or College policy, see Definitions of Abuse & Neglect. Questions about reporting suspected abuse or neglect should be directed to minors@wellesley.edu, however, posing questions to this address is not a substitute for reporting suspect abuse or neglect of minors to DCF .