Reporting Abuse or Neglect of Minors

Appalachian State University is committed to providing a safe environment for all visitors. The University’s policy regarding Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect can be found in the University Policy Manual.


Both as a matter of university policy and North Carolina state law, all members of the App State community, including students, faculty, staff and others who participate in university programs, activities or conduct business on behalf of the university, who reasonably suspects that a minor has been abused or neglected by a parent, guardian, caregiver or staff member has an absolute obligation to report that suspicion to the appropriate County Department of Social Services (“DSS”).


App State will enforce violations of this policy when the university has authority pursuant to federal and state law, and UNC System policies. Violations of this policy may result in grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion, as well as personal civil liability or criminal sanctions.


How do I make a report?


Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and/or Neglect:

Adults have a mandatory duty to report child abuse and neglect. Reports must be made immediately if the adult reasonably believes that child abuse and/or neglect has occurred. If you receive information or observe conduct that gives you reason to believe that a child has been or may be abused or neglected, please take the following steps immediately:

Step 1: If the minor is in imminent danger, call 911.

Step 2: If the minor is not in imminent danger, but experiencing child abuse:

  • Contact your local law enforcement agency. If you are on the Appalachian State University campus, contact the Appalachian Police Department at 828-262-8000. Otherwise, contact the local law enforcement agency for the city or county you or the minor are in.
  • If needed, upon receipt of a report, the Appalachian Police Department will notify appropriate University administrative units for further inquiry or action, as well as assist with identifying if a report needs to be made to other state and local agencies.

Step 3: If the minor is not in imminent danger, but experiencing child neglect:

  • Contact the Watauga County Department of Social Services at 828-265-8100. If the detection of child neglect is identified outside of Watauga County and the minor does not reside in Watauga County, then the adult must report the child neglect to the county department of social services in the county where the suspected child neglect was detected or the county where the minor resides.

Step 4: Notify Conference and Event Services (if applicable):

This step is only required for those reporting an incident of abuse or neglect related to a University-sponsored/affiliated youth program or activity. Reports may involve minors and/or program staff. The following should be reported to Conference and Event Services at (828) 262.7273 or


  • A situation or disclosure of abuse or neglect.
  • Medical concerns and/or injuries to a youth participant where treatment goes beyond basic first aid.
  • Vehicle accident involving youth program participants.
  • Behavioral incident for university employees or program staff including any issue that violates a campus rule, guideline or policy for programs working with minors.
  • Behavioral incident for a youth participant that violates the program rules, guidelines, or code of conduct and requires a response beyond a warning or temporary removal from activities.
  • Any other concerns related to a youth program or activity in which a minor is participating.
Appalachian’s Guidelines on Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Information that you may be required to provide in a report of child abuse or neglect may be found in Appalachian’s Guidelines on Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting, if the information is known by the reporting party. However, please follow the direction of the agency you have contacted to make the report.

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