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Penn State Employees Recent Training

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A large portion of employees at Penn State University, totaling to around 8,000 employees and volunteers, have recently participate in a training program. The primary purpose of the program is to help these individuals recognize suspected child abuse and report it appropriately to ensure that the children are safe. The director of workplace learning for the human resources office at Penn State, Susan Cromwell, has said, “As of Oct. 15, we have trained 7,963 employees and volunteers, including the University’s Board of Trustees and senior leadership.” She also said, “We have 23 sessions on the calendar through December, and additional sessions still can be scheduled by units as needed.”

These training sessions started several months ago, back in April, allowing the University to help address serious concerns while training employees who may work with children to know and understand the signs of possible child abuse. A second part of the program, which was supposed to take place in the fall of 2012 but has since, been schedule for the early months of 2013, will take place for these employees as well. Cromwell said, “We are looking forward to offering the training online to our employees.” She also said, “The feedback we receive from the live training sessions has been valuable in helping us build a robust online program.”

The online training, which will be very interactive, will eventually be accessible for all of the employees at Penn State. Cromwell feels good about the fact that so many of these individuals have received the necessary training. She says, “We are encouraged that so many have been trained through the live sessions and we will continue to conduct live training until we move to the online format, as well as support related efforts, such as helping Student Affairs develop training specifically for student organizations.” This program was designed by Penn State to ensure that the community is entirely safe for children while helping to educate employees and volunteers about child abuse and how to report it. The associate vice president of human resources for the University, Susan Basso, has said, “We are working hard to ensure the safety of children on our campuses and those involved with our programs.”

The University is definitely putting a huge focus on the safety of children and is now requiring mandatory training for all of the authorized adults, which basically includes individuals who are working with children through a number of different programs that are offered by Penn State or take place on the property of the University. Thorough background checks have become a very common process as well. Basso said, “More than 18,000 background checks have gone through since we introduced this change in July 2012.”

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Authored by: Harrison Barnes