Protection of Minors –Programs for Minors on University Property or in University Facilities Sponsored or Organized by the University
|Policy Name:||Protection of Minors –Programs for Minors on University Property or in University Facilities Sponsored or Organized by the University|
|Responsible University Office:||Office of Equity and Inclusion|
|Origination Date:||February 1, 2017|
- SCOPE OF POLICYThis Policy is intended to facilitate the protection of minors at programs, camps and other similar events sponsored or organized by University employees, volunteers, and/or organizations held on University property or in University facilities on behalf of or in the name of the University. See also the Policy on Programs for Minors on University Property or in University Facilities Sponsored or Organized by Third Parties. This Policy applies to all University of Delaware locations and to all University employees, volunteers, and/or organizations who wish to sponsor, organize or participate in programs serving minors.
- “Adult’ means a person who has reached his or her eighteenth birthday.
- “Minor” means a person who has not reached his or her eighteenth birthday. For purposes of this policy, minor does not include a person who is enrolled full-time or part-time as a matriculated or continuing education student at the University.
- “Participants” mean the minors who are participating in the Program for Minors.
- “Program for Minors” (or Program) means any camp, clinic, event, class, or the like occurring on University property or using University facilities and sponsored by or organized on behalf of or in the name of the University that serves Minors without supervision by their parents or guardians, regardless of duration.
- “Program Organizer”(or Organizer) means any University employee, volunteer, or organization who wishes to sponsor or organize a Program for Minors on University property or uses University facilities on behalf of or in the name of the University.
- “Program Staff” means all employees, volunteers, and/or independent contractors of a Program for Minors. Program Staff includes, but is not limited to, all Adults with supervisory authority over Minors participating in the Program, including but not limited to the Program Organizer, coaches, assistants, counselors, teaching assistants, and the like.
- “University Programs for Minors Liaison” (the “Minors Liaison”) means an official designated by the University to monitor Programs for Minors and ensure compliance with this Policy. The University Programs for Minors Liaison is the Associate Director/Title IX Investigator in the Office of Equity and Inclusion and can be reached at (302) 831-8063, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- POLICY STATEMENTIt is the policy of the University to require that Program Organizers of Programs for Minors take affirmative steps to lessen the risk of harm to minor participants as set forth in this Policy. Program Organizers must agree to comply with the terms of this Policy by, among other requirements described below, reporting their Program to the Minors Liaison, conducting regular background checks on all Program Staff, providing appropriate supervision for Participants and strictly observing the training requirements and standards of conduct set forth in this Policy.
- POLICY STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
- Mandate to Adhere to Policy
Any Program Organizer who wishes to sponsor or organize a Program for Minors must adhere to this Policy.
- University Programs for Minors Liaison
The Minors Liaison, or his or her designee, shall maintain a current roster of all Programs for Minors on campus and shall ensure that all Program Organizers timely submit the documentation required by this Policy. The Minors Liaison shall moreover from time to time spot check or audit Programs for Minors to ensure compliance with this Policy. In the event a Program Organizer is determined to have violated this Policy, the Minors Liaison shall refer the matter to the Program Organizer’s Dean or Vice President.
- Program Organizer
The Program Organizer is responsible for reporting the Program to the Minors Liaison as soon as practicable, but in no event less than 60 days before the start of the Program. The Program Organizer should provide the Minors Liaison with as much information as possible about the Program, including a description of the Program (including whether it is a residential or day program), the anticipated ages of the Participants, the number of Participants, the duration of the program (number of days, hours per day, etc.), and the number of employees and volunteers anticipated. The Minors Liaison will provide the Program Organizer with forms that the parent or guardian of each Participant must complete, which may include permission slips, releases, etc. and provide assistance to the Program Organizer to ensure compliance with this Policy. The Program Organizer is required to maintain copies of each of the forms signed by the parent or guardian for at least three (3) years.No fewer than seven (7) days prior to the commencement of the Program, the Program Organizer must provide to the Minors Liaison:
- the number and ages of the Participants;
- a certification signed by the Program Organizer stating that the Program Organizer and all Program Staff have complied with the University’s Background Check requirements set forth in the University’s Criminal Background Check Policy and that all Program Staff have received or will receive prior to the start of the Program the training set forth in the Training of Program Staff section of this Policy (this certification form may be obtained from the Minors Liaison); and
- a detailed description of the sign-in and sign-out procedures for the Program.
The Program Organizer is responsible for maintaining a roster of all Program Staff, which shall include the date each Program Staff member was last background checked, for a minimum of three (3) years. In addition, the Program Organizer must maintain a roster of all participants in the program and all permission slips, releases, etc. for each Participant for a minimum of three (3) years. The roster form may be obtained from the Minors Liaison.
The University reserves the right to spot check individual background checks or conduct a full audit of any Program for Minors’ background checks at any time, in its sole discretion. A Program Organizer shall provide documentation of its compliance with this Policy to the Minors Liaison within forty-eight (48) hours of request.
- Mandate to Adhere to Policy
- Background Checks
All Program Organizers who wish to sponsor or organize a Program for Minors must obtain for themselves and for each Program Staff member, prior to that person commencing service, a cleared background check that complies, at a minimum, with the following requirements:
- A name-based Delaware criminal background check through the Delaware Justice Information System (DELJIS);
- Child Protection Registry Check through the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Family (DSCYF); and
- An out-of-state criminal record check using private, third-party providers of such checks, provided that any out of state criminal record check shall include a Social Security trace search and county-based criminal record search in the counties in which the individual has resided within the past 10 years.
A Program Organizer must obtain a new background check compliant with this Policy for each Program Staff member prior to that Program Staff member interacting with Participants. The background check will be valid for up to three years, provided the Program Staff member remains continuously employed by the University in some capacity. Any Program Staff member who refuses to undergo a criminal background check shall be deemed ineligible for participation in the Program and any other Programs for Minors.
If a criminal background check reveals criminal activity, the University will follow the procedure set forth in the Criminal Background Checks and Mandatory Disclosure of Arrests and Convictions Policy, Section III.F, as though the Program Staff member were a “selected applicant” under that policy.
- Falsification of Background Check or Failure to Report
If any Program Organizer or Program Staff member negligently, recklessly, or willfully falsifies any portion of his or her background check information, or that of any other Program Staff member, and/or fails to abide by the self-reporting requirements of this Policy, such falsification shall be grounds for termination of the Program’s contract for cause and a future ban on use of University property or facilities. If a Program Organizer or Program Staff member who is also an employee or independent contractor of the University negligently, recklessly, or willfully falsifies any portion of his or her background check information or the information of any other person, it shall be grounds for discipline, up to and including termination.
Any Program Staff member who is arrested, charged with, or convicted of a crime must self-report the arrest or conviction within 72 hours to the Program Organizer, who must in turn immediately report the arrest, charge, or conviction to the Minors Liaison no later than the next business day after learning of the arrest or conviction. Any Program Organizer who is arrested, charged with, or convicted of a crime must self-report the arrest or conviction within 72 hours directly to the Minors Liaison.
- Mandatory Reporting
All Program Organizers and Program Staff are subject to the University’s Policy on the Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse.
- Interim Suspension
If an allegation of inappropriate conduct involving or regarding minors has been made against any Program Organizer or Program Staff, s/he shall be suspended from any further participation in all Programs for Minors until such allegation has been satisfactorily resolved. The University reserves the right to suspend any Program Organizer or Program Staff from participating in any Programs for Minors if allegations of inappropriate conduct are made, including allegations that do not involve minors.
- Supervision of Participants
Participants must be supervised at all times by Program Staff who are responsible for the behavior and activities of the Participants. This supervisory responsibility shall apply to all portions of the University’s campus and facilities. For Programs with a residential component, this is a twenty-four hour per day commitment, including meals and evenings, for the duration of the Program. Program Organizers may not rely on University personnel not listed on the roster provided to the Minors Liaison to supervise Program Staff or Participants.The ratio of Program Staff to Participants must reflect the gender distribution of the Participants and should meet the following, at a minimum:
- One staff member for every five Participants ages 4 and 5
- One staff member for every six Participants ages 6 to 8
- One staff member for every eight Participants ages 9 to 14
- One staff member for every 10 Participants ages 15 to 17
Program Organizers for residential Programs must furnish sufficient live-in and daytime supervision for the Participants in accordance with the ratios set forth above. The University reserves the right to require more supervisory Program Staff in the sole and exclusive discretion of the Minors Liaison.
Program Staff must be Adults, must have passed a criminal background check, as set forth above, and must have undergone the training set forth in the Training of Program Staff section in this policy.
- Training of Program Staff
All Program Staff must receive training prior to the start of the Program which must include, at a minimum:
- responsibilities and expectations of Program Staff and Participants, including but not limited to appropriate interactions between Program Staff and Participants;
- policies and procedures, including the Standards of Conduct below, applicable to the Program, the Program Staff and Participants;
- proper enforcement of the policies and procedures, including the Standards of Conduct below, applicable to the Program, the Program Staff and Participants;
- appropriate crisis/emergency responses;
- how to request local emergency services;
- how to report suspected child abuse;
- how to report suspected violations of child safety practices and policies;
- appropriate sign-in and sign-out procedures;
- safety and security precautions; and
- confidentiality issues involving Participants.
The Program Organizer is responsible for ensuring that appropriate training has been provided to the Program Staff.
- Standards of Conduct for Program Staff
Program Staff are prohibited from doing anything to endanger Participants, including but not limited to:
- Having one-on-one contact with Participants: there must be two or more Adults present during activities where minors are present (with the exception of licensed psychologists providing psychological and counseling services to minors).
- Having any direct electronic contact with Participants without another Adult being included in the communication.
- In the case of Adults supervising Participants overnight, entering a Participant’s room, bathroom facility, or similar area without another Adult in attendance, consistent with the policy of not having one-on-one contact with Participants.
- Sharing overnight accommodations with Participants (other than the minors’ parents or guardians).
- Engaging in abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a Participant.
- Striking, hitting, administering corporal punishment to, or touching in an inappropriate or illegal manner any Participant. Touching should only be done in the open and for a clear educational, developmental or health-related purpose.
- Picking up Participants from or dropping off Participants at their homes, other than the driver’s child(ren), except as specifically authorized in writing by the Participant’s parent or legal guardian.
- Providing alcohol or illegal drugs to any Participant.
- Providing prescription drugs or any medication to any Participant unless specifically authorized in writing by the parent or legal guardian as being required for the Participant’s care or the Participant’s emergency treatment.
- Making sexual materials in any form available to Participants or assisting them in any way in gaining access to such materials.
- Using vulgar language or engaging in sexual talk with Participants.
- Taking pictures of Participants in the Program unless their parent or legal guardian has signed a waiver allowing use of photography for Program-related purposes. Even if such a waiver has been signed, Program Staff should not take photos of Participants for their own use, including for the purpose of posting to their own social media site.