Activities and programs with minor children participants

Purpose

The purpose of this Activities and Programs with Minor Children Participants Policy (“Policy”) is to promote the health, safety, and welfare of Minor Children on campus, as well as minors who participate in Lynn University sponsored programs and activities. To support the protection of Minor Children, this Policy outlines what is required of employees, students, student employees, and volunteers who work in activities and programs with Minor Children, and informs individuals of their reporting obligations in instances of known or suspected Child Abuse or Maltreatment.

Policy

Lynn University campus grounds and infrastructure are designed to provide an environment conducive to the University’s mission as an institution of higher education. For reasons that include the safety of minor children and assuring the efficient performance of academic pursuits, administrative operations and services, the University has adopted the following policies:

1. Minor children should be supervised at all times by an authorized adult while participating in a university-sponsored program or activity.

2. All University-sponsored activities and programs with minor children should register with the Office of Compliance in addition to seeking proper event approval through Event Services and General Counsel.

3. Program staff that have direct contact with minor children or supervise a program with minor children are required to have a background check on record with the University before the adult is hired or allowed to engage with minor children. The background check must be reviewed and approved by Employee Services prior to being hired and/or engaged in working with minors and at least once every five (5) years thereafter. Employees that are rehired within a five-year period after their original hire date do not need a background check if one is currently on file with Employee Services.

4. All University staff that have direct contact with minor children or supervise a University-sponsored program with minor children must abide by the Standards of Behavior listed in this policy before working in activities and programs with minor children. The Standards of Behavior prohibits one-on-one interactions unless otherwise authorized in accordance with this policy.

5. Any University employees and volunteers that have direct contact with minor children or supervise a University-sponsored program or activity with minor children, who witness child abuse or neglect, or have information that would lead a reasonable person to believe a minor faces a substantial threat of such abuse or neglect, must follow the reporting procedures set forth below.

Note: Exceptions to this policy include: (1) undergraduate and graduate academic programs in which minors are enrolled for academic credit; (2) events on campus which are open to the general public and which minors attend at the sole discretion of their parents or guardians; and, (3) campus tours or visits by minors considered to be prospective students; and (4) other programs as may be designated from time to time by the appropriate University official in advance and in writing as exempted from this policy.

Definitions

Minor Children— a child under the age of 18, with the exception of properly enrolled students and employees.

Authorized Adult—an adult, including but not limited to University employees, student employees or volunteers, who is responsible for the care, custody or control of the minor(s) child participating in any University-sponsored program or activity.

Program—includes any organized activity or event that is designed to include participants who are minors, offered by an academic or administrative unit of the University, whether on- or off-campus, or by non-University organizations using campus facilities. Programs shall include workshops, summer camps (day or residential), and group visits, but shall exclude the following:

Exempt Programs—program exempt from this policy include (1) undergraduate and graduate academic programs in which minors are enrolled for academic credit; (2) events on campus which are open to the general public and which minors attend at the sole discretion of their parents or guardians; and, (3) campus tours or visits by minors considered to be prospective students; and (4) other programs as may be designated from time to time by the appropriate University official in advance and in writing as exempted from this policy.

Program/Activity Leader—the University point person for a University-sponsored program or activity.

Sponsoring Department—the academic or administrative department of the University which offers a program or activity or gives approval for use of university facilities.

University Housing—Facilities owned by, or under the control of, the university intended for use as housing.

Procedures

The following procedures apply to a sponsoring department offering or approving a program or activity that involves minor children or provides university housing for minor children participating in a program or activity:

I. Registration
Departments sponsoring activities and programs with minor children should register with Office of Compliance 30 days prior to the event. Information to be provided includes the general nature of the activities and program to be undertaken or offered; the dates and locations where minors will be participating; and the names of all adults who will be participating directly with minors in the program or activity.

In addition, each sponsoring department is required to obtain Health and Liability Waiver forms for each program participant and program staff member and submit it to the General Counsel Office prior to first day of the program or activity.

II. Background Screens

Background screens will be conducted in accordance with the University’s Background Screens Policy. In addition to criminal records screens, the University will also conduct a sex offender registry search.

It is the responsibility of the person in charge of the university-sponsored program or activity to assure that University employee participating in a program involving minor children has submitted the required background screen request form(s) and has subsequently received clearance to participate. Employee Services will maintain a roster of individuals who have been cleared to participate and the dates on which a new background check will be required. The background screen will be limited to criminal offenses, including, but not limited to, child abuse, for which an individual has been convicted, pled guilty to a felony or misdemeanor, or where such charges are currently pending.

A decision not to permit an individual to participate in a program or activity covered by this policy based on the results of a background check will be made by Employee Services after consultation with the appropriate University Cabinet member. The University reserves the right to take appropriate action with respect to employees who may have falsified or failed to disclose information material to their employment on employment applications uncovered as a result of the background check, including and up to immediate termination of employment. Copies of background check reports will be retained in Employee Services.

All contracts for the services of independent contractors that will be working with minor children must include a provision assuring that the employees of such independent contractors or the contractor (in the case of a solo contractor) has complied with, at a minimum, background screens and training comparable to those required by the University under this policy.

III. Orientation Training

Each authorized adult who will be participating in a program covered by this policy must attend mandatory orientation training on the standards of behavior requirements of this policy, as well as complete the online UE training course. Instructions for accessing the course will be distributed to approved programs and are also available online.

IV. Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect

If a program participant discloses any type of assault or abuse (at any time previous to, during or after the program), or an authorized adult has reason to believe that the participant has been subject to such assault or abuse, the authorized adult, as a mandatory reporter, must immediately call 911 or the local law enforcement agency. For instances of child sexual assault or abuse the authorized adult should also immediately call 911. Further instructions for addressing child sexual abuse or assault can be found in the University’s Child Abuse and Neglect Policy.

Authorized adults must make all reasonable efforts to ensure the safety of minor children participating in University-sponsored programs and activities covered by this policy, including removal of minors from dangerous or potentially dangerous situations, irrespective of any other limitation or requirement.

V. Standards of Behavior
1. To protect Lynn University staff, volunteers, third-party vendors, and event/program participants, at no time during an approved event/program involving minors should a staff person/ volunteers/third-party vendor be alone with a minor where the staff person/volunteers/ third­ party vendor cannot be observed by others.

2. No minor shall be left unsupervised.

3. If a staff person/volunteers/third-party vendors are assisting minors, doors to the restroom should be open, or another staff person/volunteer /third-party vendor should be present.

4. Staff person/volunteers /third-party vendors will conduct and supervise in pairs, private activities (i.e. putting on bathing suits, showering). When this is not feasible, staff person/volunteers/third­party vendors should be positioned so that they are visible to others.

5. Staff person/volunteers/third-party vendors shall not abuse minors or use corporal punishment of any kind. This includes physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse or neglect. Any type of abuse will not be tolerated and is cause for immediate dismissal.

6. Staff person/volunteers/third-party vendors will respect minor’s right to not be touched in ways that make them feel uncomfortable. A minor’s right to say "No" is to be encouraged and respected. Other than assisting minors, minors not to be touched in areas of their bodies that would be covered by a bathing suit.

7. Staff person/volunteers/third-party vendors will use appropriate touch including, pats on the back or shoulder, side hugs, handshakes and high fives. Staff person/volunteers/third-party vendors will refrain from full frontal hugging touching of personal areas, or patting of the buttocks.

8. Staff person/volunteers /third-party vendors should use positive techniques of guidance including, redirection, positive reinforcement and encouragement rather than competition, comparison and criticism.

9. Staff person/volunteers/third-party vendors will not give gifts or special favors to individual minors, or show preferential treatment to a minor or group of minors to the exclusion of others.

10. Staff person/volunteers/third-party vendors will not have private interactions through social media, computer or hand held devices with minors in the event/program.

11. Staff person/volunteers/third-party vendors will respond to minors with respect and consideration and treat all minors equally regardless of sex, race, religion, sexual identity, or culture.

12. Staff person/volunteers/third-party vendors will refrain from intimate displays of affection toward others.

13. Using, possessing or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during working hours is prohibited. Smoking or use of tobacco in the presence of minors or parents during working hours is prohibited.

14. Profanity, inappropriate jokes, sharing intimate details of one's personal life and any kind of harassment is prohibited.

15. Staff person/ volunteers/third-party vendors are not to transport minors, who are not family members, in their own vehicles without the pem1ission of the director.

16. Staff person/volunteers/third-party vendors, who are over 18, may not date event/program participants under the age of 18 years of age.

17. Under no circumstance should staff release minor to anyone other than the authorized parent, guardian, or other adult authorized by the parent or guardian (written parent authorization on file with event/program).

18. Staff person/ volunteers/third-party vendors under 18 years of age are not permitted in staff living areas during non-work hours unless accompanied by parent or guardian.

19. Staff person/volunteers/third-party vendors are required to report any suspicion of child abuse to the proper authorities, are required to read and sign all policies relating to identifying, documenting and reporting child abuse, and complete required prevention training provided by the University.

VI. Use of University Housing

If the University-sponsored program includes minor children residing in university housing, the rules and regulations must be observed: 1. Written permission from the minor child’s parent/guardian must be obtained and submitted to the Program Director prior to the child’s stay in University housing;

2. The establishment of a curfew time which is age-appropriate for the participants as determined by the program director;

3. Guests of participants (other than a parent/legal guardian and other program participants) are restricted to visitation in the building lobby and/or floor lounges, and only during approved hours specified by the program; and

4. The program must comply with all security measures and procedures specified by Residence Life and Campus Safety and Security.

For more information about this policy, contact the Office of Compliance

Policy updated on: Aug. 23, 2018