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Protection of Minors Policy

  • Effective: December 31, 2014

    Adopted: July 8, 2014
    Amended: January 22, 2015

    A. Purpose:

    The Pennsylvania General Assembly has enacted various laws that are intended to promote the safety and security of children who participate in programs held on university property. In response to these actions, the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education have enacted Board of Governors’ Policy 2014-01: Protection of Minors

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) is dedicated to promoting the safety and security of minors who visit its campus or participate in its programs. To promote the protection of minors, this policy: 1) describes the requirements of administrators, faculty, coaches, staff, students, contractors and volunteers who interact with minors; 2) requires the registration of all programs involving minors that occur on campus and all university-sponsored programs that occur off campus; and 3) informs all members of the university community of their obligation to report any instances of known or suspected child abuse, including neglect.

    B. Scope:

    This policy applies to all university-sponsored programs, regardless of location, and non-university-sponsored programs that occur on IUP property. Examples of programs governed by this policy include, but are not limited to: graduate and undergraduate course offerings, orientation visitations, specialty camps (e.g., academic, sports, orientation), outreach activities, workshops, conferences, tutoring, educational programs, affiliated entity activities, and child care facilities and programs. All programs are required to comply with applicable laws and regulations including any applicable state licensure requirements. 

    Except for the reporting of child abuse, including neglect, this policy does not apply to: (1) events on university property that are open to the general public and which minors attend at the sole discretion of their parents or legal guardians; (2) private events held on university property where minors attend under parental or legal guardian supervision; or (3) other programs as may be designated by the university president or designated official in advance and in writing as exempt from this policy or specific provisions of this policy.

    C. Definitions:

    Affiliated Entity:

    A private organization recognized under Board of Governors Policy 1985-04-A: University External Financial Support (typically classified as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization for federal tax purposes) that exists solely for the benefit of the university, including, but not limited to, foundations, alumni associations, and student associations.

    Authorized Adults or Program Staff:

    Individuals, paid or unpaid, who may have direct contact, interact with, treat, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee minors. This includes, but is not limited to, faculty, staff, volunteers, graduate and undergraduate students, interns, employees of temporary employment agencies and contractors. Roles of authorized adults or program staff include, but are not limited to, positions as counselors, chaperones, coaches, instructors, health care providers and outside providers running programs in leased facilities. This definition does not include temporary guest speakers, presenters, or other individuals who have no direct contact with program participants other than short-term activities supervised by program staff; or fellow students whose only role is as a participant in the education, services, or program offered.

    Child Abuse:

    Child abuse is defined by Pennsylvania law in 23 Pa. C.S. §6303. That definition includes non-accidental actions or omissions that cause serious physical or mental injuries to a child, or sexual abuse/sexual exploitation of a child including:

    1. Physical Abuse: Acts or omissions that cause, or fail to prevent, a serious physical injury to a child.
    2. Sexual Abuse: Includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, molestation, incest, indecent exposure, or otherwise exploiting a child in a manner in which the child is used for gratification or sexual enjoyment by another person.
    3. Emotional or Mental Abuse: Acts or omissions that have an actual or likely severe negative impact on a child’s emotional and behavioral development, including those resulting from persistent or severe emotional mistreatment.
    4. Neglect: A severe or persistent failure to provide for a child’s physical, emotional or basic needs.

    Direct Contact:

    Providing care, supervision, guidance, or control; or routine interaction with minors.

    Mandated Reporter:

    In a situation of suspected child abuse, all State System administrators, faculty, coaches, staff, student workers, contractors, and volunteers are considered mandated reporters.

    Minor/Child:  

    A person under 18 years of age. Minors may be enrolled undergraduate/graduate students; students “dually enrolled” with the university and in elementary, middle, or high school; employees; or participants in program activities. 

    Non-University-Sponsored Programs:

    Programs that are not operated on behalf of the university, or under the university’s control. 

    One-on-One Contact:

    Personal, unsupervised interaction between any authorized adult or program staff and a participant without at least one other authorized adult or program staff, parent or legal guardian being present. 

    PASSHE Entity:

    One of the State System universities or the Office of the Chancellor.

    Program:

    Activities offered by various academic or administrative units of the university, or by non-university groups using university facilities where the parents or legal guardians are not responsible for the care, custody, or control of their children. This includes, but is not limited to, workshops, services, camps, conferences, campus visits and similar activities. These do not include organized events where parents or legal guardians are responsible for minors.

    Program Administrator:

    The person(s) who has primary and direct operational responsibility for managing a program.

    Registry:

    An official record or list of authorized adults or programs.

    Sponsoring Unit:

    The academic or administrative unit of the university that offers a program or gives approval for the use of university facilities.  

    University Facilities:

    Facilities owned by or under the control of a State System entity, including spaces used for education, athletics, dining, recreation, university housing and on-campus affiliate-owned housing.

    University-Sponsored Programs:

    Programs that are directly managed by university faculty, staff and affiliated entities on behalf of the university. All university-sponsored programs must be registered.

    D. Policy:

    1. Authorized Adults and Program Registration
      The IUP Office of Human Resources (OHR) shall establish and maintain a registry of university-sponsored and non-university-sponsored programs for minors. All programs must be registered annually by the program administrator. The registration should be filed no later than 30 days prior to the start of the program. Questions regarding this policy may be directed to the Office of Human Resources.
    2. Program Registration Requirements
      The program administrator shall file a online at Protection of Minors Event Registration or at the Office of Human Resources (Sutton Hall G-8) which shall identify and describe the following items: 
      1. A description of the activities of the program, certification of state licensure as appropriate, and a list of all university resources to be utilized as part of the program, including but not limited to transportation, housing, and other facilities. The program administrator shall attach a copy of all participation requirement forms to the registration, including any required certificates of insurance. 
      2. A list of all authorized adults or program staff for the program. The program administrator is responsible for ensuring and certifying authorized adults or program staff have obtained required background screenings and required training in accordance with this and other applicable policies and all applicable laws. Authorized adults or program staff shall be required to submit the following information to their program administrator annually for each program in which they participate. (Most current employee criminal background investigation records are available from Human Resources).
        • Act 34 —  Pennsylvania State Criminal Records (dated within prior 36 months)
        • Act 114 — Federal Criminal History Record Information (dated within prior 36 months)
        • Act 151 —  Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance (dated within prior 36 months)
        • Certificate of completion of a Protection of Minors training course (dated within prior 12 months)
        Authorized adults or program staff failing to adhere to the university’s Protection of Minors Policy or providing false or misleading information may be prohibited from participating in the program or activity. In the event that the authorized adult or program staff is an IUP student, the student will be referred to the University Student Conduct System.

        In the case of non-university-sponsored programs contracting for the use of university property, failure to provide proof of adherence to the university’s Protection of Minors Policy or providing false or misleading information may result in prohibiting participation of those individuals and may also result in termination of the IUP Facilities Use Lease Agreement.
      3. A description of safety and security plans for the program, including any special or extraordinary security resources being requested from the university or outside parties. This description shall include the adult-to-minor supervision ratio for the program and any deviations from the university’s protocols for injury or illness, misconduct by an authorized adult or program staff, or misconduct by a participant.
      4. A description of the program orientation or information for minors and parents. 
      5. Completion certificates (dated within the prior 12 months) from each authorized adult on the event staff for protection of minors training designated to mandated reporters by Pennsylvania law.
      6. A certification by the program administrator that minors and parents or legal guardians of minors have submitted or will submit required forms prior to participation. These forms may include, but are not limited to, a participation agreement, health form, emergency contact form, proof of medical insurance, photo and recording release, and participant code of conduct. 
    3. Code of Conduct for Authorized Adults and Program Staff
      Authorized adults and program staff should be positive role models for minors and act in a responsible manner that is consistent with the mission of the university. Authorized adults and program staff are required to comply with all applicable laws and State System Board of Governors’ and university policies. Authorized adults and program staff working in programs covered by this policy must follow these expectations:
      1. Do not engage in any sexual activity, make sexual comments, tell sexual jokes, or share sexually explicit material with minors or assist in any way to provide access to such material to minors.
      2. Do not engage or allow minors to engage you in romantic or sexual conversations or related matters. Similarly, do not treat minors as confidantes; refrain from sharing sensitive personal information about yourself. Examples of sensitive personal information that should not be shared with minors are information about financial challenges, workplace challenges, drug or alcohol use, and romantic relationships.
      3. Do not touch minors in a manner that a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate. All personal contact should generally only be in the open, and in response to the minor’s needs, for a purpose that is consistent with the program’s mission and culture, or for a clear educational, developmental or health-related purpose (e.g., treatment of an injury). Any refusal or resistance from the minor should be respected.
      4. Do not use harassing language that would violate Board of Governors’ Policy 2009-03: IUP Social Equity Policies, IUP Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy, or IUP Student Conduct Policies and Procedures.
      5. Do not be alone with a minor. If one-on-one contact is required, meet in open, well-illuminated spaces or rooms with windows observable by other authorized adults or program staff, unless the one-on-one contact is expressly authorized by the program administrator or is being undertaken for medical care.
      6. Do not meet with minors outside of established times for program activities. Any exceptions require written parental authorization and must include more than one authorized adult or program staff.
      7. Do not invite individual minors to your home or other private locations. Any exceptions require authorization by the program administrator and written authorization by a parent/guardian.
      8. Do not provide gifts to minors or their families independent of items provided by the program.
      9. Do not engage or communicate with minors except for an educational or programmatic purpose; the content of the communication must be consistent with the mission of the program and the university.
      10. Do not engage in any abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a minor, including, but not limited to, verbal abuse, striking, hitting, punching, poking, spanking, or restraining. If restraint is necessary to protect a minor or other minors from harm, all incidents must be documented and disclosed to the program administrator and the minor’s parent/guardian.
      11. Do not use, possess, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while on duty, or in the presence of minors involved in a program, or when responsible for a minor’s welfare.
      12. Do not provide alcohol or illegal substances to a minor.
      13. Do not provide medication to a minor unless authorized by the program’s medication management guidelines.
      14. When transporting minors, more than one authorized adult or program staff from the program must be present in the vehicle, except when multiple minors will be in the vehicle at all times through the transportation. Avoid using personal vehicles if possible, and comply with the program’s transportation guidelines.
      Violations of any of the forgoing must be reported to the program administrator and the IUP Associate Vice President for Human Resources.
    4. Training
      All authorized adults or program staff working with minors are required to be trained on policies and issues related to minor safety and security on an annual basis. Documentation of training completion is required and collected by the program administrator. Program administrators of non-university-sponsored programs (or non-university groups providing services to university-sponsored programs) are required to certify that they have satisfactorily completed required training before being allowed to use university facilities. Training should address the following topics:
      1. Detecting and reporting abuse or neglect.
      2. First aid/CPR and medication management.
      3. Participant conduct management and disciplinary procedures. 
      4. Authorized adult or program staff code of conduct.
      5. Sexual and other unlawful harassment.
      6. Safety and security protocols.
      7. Crime reporting procedures.
      The Office of Human Resources shall offer training to all university program administrators of university-sponsored programs.
    5. Criminal Background Screening
      Authorized adults and program staff of university-sponsored programs shall undergo background checks in accordance with IUP’s Background Investigation policy and procedures. Before being allowed to license, lease, or use university facilities, program administrators of non-university-sponsored programs (or non-university groups providing services to university-sponsored programs) are required to certify that they have conducted criminal background checks and determined the fitness of all authorized adults and program staff in accordance with IUP’s Background Investigation policy and procedures.
    6. Reporting Obligations
      In a situation of suspected child abuse, all members of the university community, contractors, and volunteers are mandated reporters under this policy. All mandated reporters shall make an immediate report of suspected child abuse or cause a report to be made if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of child abuse under any of the following circumstances:
      1. The mandated reporter comes into contact with the child in the course of employment, occupation, and practice of a profession or through a regularly scheduled program, activity, or service.
      2. The mandated reporter is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance, or training of the child, or is affiliated with an agency, institution, organization, school, regularly established church or religious organization, or other entity that is directly responsible for the care, supervision, guidance, or training of the child.
      3. A person makes a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that an identifiable child is the victim of child abuse.
      4. An individual 14 years of age or older makes a specific disclosure to the mandated reporter that the individual has committed child abuse.
      The minor is not required to come before the mandated reporter in order for the mandated reporter to make a report of suspected child abuse. The mandated reporter does not need to determine the identity of the person responsible for the child abuse to make a report of suspected child abuse. Mandated reporters must immediately make an oral report of suspected child abuse to the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) by calling 1-800-932-0313, or a written report to DPW using electronic technologies when available. If an oral report is made, a written report shall also be made within 48 hours to DPW or the county agency assigned to the case as prescribed by DPW. Immediately following the report to DPW, the mandated reporter must notify University Police, who will assume responsibility for facilitating the university’s cooperation with the investigation of the report. More than one report of the suspected abuse is not required.
    7. Facilities Use Agreements
      The licensing, leasing, or use of university facilities for non-university-sponsored programs or events must be in compliance with the IUP Facilities Use Policy. Program administrators of non-university-sponsored programs or non-university groups providing services to university-sponsored programs are required to certify that they have conducted criminal background checks and determined the fitness of all authorized adults and program staff in accordance with IUP’s criminal background screening policies and procedures.

    E. Effective Date:

    December 31, 2014

    F. Revision:

     

    G. Distribution:

    • A — All employees, annually
    • B — All students, annually
    • All affiliated organizations