Minors Policy Frequently Asked Questions

Minors Policy Frequently Asked Questions

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These FAQs are meant to address common questions regarding the University of Dayton’s Children on Campus and Working with Minors Policy.  If your question is not addressed here, please contact the Office of Legal Affairs at legalaffairs@udayton.edu or 937.229.4333.

Training

All students working with minors as part of a UD program or a third-party’s minors program on campus must be trained on the requirements of the Minors Policy training, whether by watching the Minors Policy Training Video available on the Minors Policy website (an .mp4 file that lasts about half an hour), or else taking comparable training delivered “live”.  The only exception would be if a student can verify that he or she took comparable training within a year of the program.  The Office of Legal Affairs should be consulted to determine whether such training is comparable and must “sign off” that the training does indeed meet the University’s requirements.


The Program Coordinator for the program and/or the University employee granting access to the use of University facilities should confirm with the outside employer/employee that the requisite training was completed prior to participation in the program.  That training can be achieved through the University’s Minors Policy Training Video (available online) or a comparable training delivered by the third-party employer; the Office of Legal Affairs will make the determination of whether the third-party employer’s training is comparable for purposes of compliance with the Minors Policy (and a Third-Party Verification Regarding Minors Training form is available for such purposes).  Documentation that the authorized adults have taken the requisite training should be maintained by a designated and identified member of the program’s organizing team.


Always use the higher standard; that is, if a University vice president or area director desires to enhance and/or supplement the required training or other elements to meet specific needs of the particular program or activity involved, they may do so.  In addition, if a third-party program (e.g., school district) requires additional and/or enhanced elements to be implemented in a particular program, the University will attempt to supplement its requirements accordingly (provided that none of the additional requirements conflicts with the University’s stated policy) or else take measures to inform its constituents of the additional measures they need to take.


Annually.


No.  As spelled out in the Toolkit -- specifically, on the "Information page about Training" -- there are multiple ways to be trained.  One way is to watch the video; groups can be convened to watch it, or individuals can watch it on their own.  Or the training could be presented “live” – that is, someone from the Office of Legal Affairs could arrange to come and speak to your group.  You may wish to create your own training, or supplement the standard training, in order to address the unique needs of your group; please consult with the Office of Legal Affairs for this option.  And finally, some third-party entities conduct their own training that may cover everything the University requires.  If you or someone in your program has undergone training elsewhere within the past year – such as through a church or school program – please contact the Office of Legal Affairs to see if that training suffices to meet the University’s requirements.


Background Checks

Any authorized adult who will be physically present in the overnight stay component of a program in which minors will be participating must successfully complete a background check prior to the overnight work with minors.


Any authorized adult required to get a background check can rely on the successful results for one year from the date of the check.  Background checks need to be annually updated for each year the authorized adult is participating in a program with an overnight stay component.


Any authorized adult within the University community can obtain a background check through the University of Dayton's Department of Public Safety. Anyone who is not a faculty, staff or student at the University, can obtain a background check at a local municipal agency (e.g., the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office).  To be comparable to what the University checks, the background check needs to search county criminal records, federal criminal records, the national criminal database, and the sex offender database.  Note that the basic elements of the University’s background checks may be modified from time to time.


The program is responsible for all costs associated with obtaining background checks, either holding the authorized adult individually responsible or budgeting that as a program cost (i.e., factoring that into the cost of participating in the program).


Where the background check is required because an authorized adult is staying overnight as part of an overnight minors program, the general “clear” is communicated by the Office of Public Safety (who conducts the check) to the person in charge of the program.  For confidentiality reasons, if the results show adverse findings, then the Office of Public Safety will forward the results to the Office of Legal Affairs who, in turn, will consult with the Office of the Provost (if the person is faculty), the Office of Human Resources (if the person is staff), or the Division of Student Development (if the person is a student). 


No.  The fingerprint-based background check through the Office of Public Safety is simply the pathway the University has set up for University constituents in need of a background check for purposes of the Minors Policy.  But there may be units on campus who opt, through their own management, to set up their own means of background-checking.  For example, a unit might establish a relationship with a vendor that specializes in performing background checks.  The important is that, whatever background check method is used, it check for issues comparable to what the University’s background checks cover:  searching criminal records (such as county criminal records, federal criminal records, the national criminal database, and the sex offender database) for information regarding, among other things, felonies, sexual offenses, drug offenses and incidents involving violence.  


Yes, or verify that they have a comparable background check protocol in place (and that the adults involved in the program have successfully completed such checks within a year of the program).  A Third-Party Verification Regarding Background Checks form is available for such purposes; it should be signed by the third-party entity and provided to the University personnel handling the assignment of space to them.


Typically minor traffic violations do not show up on a criminal background check; only major traffic violations – such as vehicular homicide – would be included.  Even if a traffic violation did show up, it would not affect your ability to be involved in the program.  However, if you wish to be authorized to provide transportation as part of the minors program, any significant traffic violations could affect your ability to volunteer to transport minors.


Typically the results are known within a week or so.  Longer periods of time might be required if the person has a very common name, such that confirming the correct individual requires additional checking/confirmation; significant negative results are found; or more jurisdictions than typical must be searched (e.g., the person has lived in multiple different states).


Reporting Child Abuse or Policy Violations

It depends. 

a. All authorized adults need to report this to the person in charge of the program, if known.  Typically that person is a UD employee.  If there is no clear person in charge, report it to the head of the University department or unit under which the program falls.  Or report it to the University’s Office of Legal Affairs at 937-229-4333 (or by emailing legalaffairs@udayton.edu).  Or, if the person in charge is a UD student, then report it the incident to the Executive Director of the Center for Student Involvement at 937-229-3333. 

b. In addition, if the University program takes place on campus, report the incident to Public Safety at 937-229-2121. If the program takes place off campus, report to the incident to the appropriate authorities for that physical location, if that host facility has a protocol in place for handling such incidents.  If no such authority/protocol exists, report to Public Safety. 

c. And if you are designated as a Mandatory Reporter as defined by Section 2151.241 of the Ohio Revised Code (school teachers, doctors, lawyers, counselors, etc.), you must also report to the public children services agency or the local police/sheriff for the location where the program took place.


Report all such incidents to Public Safety (or, if off-campus, to the appropriate authorities if the location has a standard of practice for handling such incidents) and to the person in charge of the program.


Individuals working with minors on campus must report any child abuse or suspected child abuse.  This includes but is not limited to physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or mental abuse, or neglect.  At a minimum, a failure to report may be considered a violation of the University’s Minors Policy, and it may also be a violation of other University policy or standards of conduct.  If an allegation is made that someone has failed to make a report, it could result in that person being unable to be part of the minors program until the matter is resolved.  In addition, there may be legal or ethical violations if a mandatory reporter (as defined by Ohio law) fails to report an incident of abuse.  The point, whenever in doubt, is to err on the side of caution so that known abuse can be responded to appropriately. 


Go ahead and report.  The objective is that known or suspected abuse be made known, so that appropriate help can be given.  All reports will be referred to the appropriate authorities trained in handling these matters to make final determinations.  Individuals who witness or suspect child abuse or neglect should not conduct any investigation on their own, as that may impede or delay the handling by the proper authorities.


You should ask the individual who reported it to you if they notified the Office of Public Safety; if not, do so yourself by calling 937.229.2121.  Then you should also contact the Office of Legal Affairs at 937.229.4333 or legalaffairs@udayton.edu


You should ask the individual who reported it to you if they notified the Office of Public Safety; if not, do so yourself by calling 937.229.2121.  Then you should also contact the Office of Legal Affairs at 937.229.4333 or legalaffairs@udayton.edu.


Program Logistics

The Program Coordinator should make sure all necessary paperwork is collected and kept in a safe location.  Records should be retained until a minor child reaches age 18 PLUS two years. 


While UD does not require a specific ratio, Program Coordinators should consider best practices for the type of activity involved.  One possible guide is that of the American Campers Association.  That association recommends a ratio of 6:1 for children 5 and younger; 8:1 for children ages 6-8; 10:1 for children ages 9-14; and 12:1 for children ages 15-18.


The Program Coordinator is responsible for establishing and communicating a pick-up/drop-off procedure for participants.  Two authorized adults from the program should be present at all times during those procedures, until the last child is picked up, particularly if the pick-up area is inside a building.  If the pick-up area is outside, then – depending on the number of participants in the program – then one authorized adult may be able to oversee the pick-up process.


Generally you should limit a child’s ability to come and go during camp; one practice you might consider adopting is to take a program participant’s vehicle keys when he or she arrives for camp.  You also should make clear (on the registration form) that the child will not be picked up from camp but will be providing his or her own transportation. 


Yes, depending on which blanks are left open.  For example, contact information -- including emergency contact information -- is essential.  Also it’s very important to have clear identifying information on who is authorized to pick up the child; the parents and guardians, with their identifying information, should be listed in that section.  But if the allergy section is left blank, then the program can assume that the child has no known allergies.  And of course, it’s critical that the form is actually signed by an authorized parent or guardian.  You should consider instructing anyone who’s part of the form-intake process to be particularly mindful of the need for forms to be filled out properly.


No.  That other entity – in this example, the homeless shelter – is expected to collect the information it needs to account for the children who are being tutored.  However, the UD individuals who are volunteering as part of a UD program/event (in this example, an event by a UD student organization) should take the Minors Policy training.


No.  The entity using UD facilities is expected to collect the information it needs to account for the children who are being tutored; that entity can use its own forms for doing so.  That entity and all of its employees/volunteers are also expected to abide by the requirements of the Minors Policy.  That is, they should comply with the conduct requirements, be trained on the policy, understand and following the requirements to report known or suspected child abuse, etc. (see Q#4).


Yes.  First, you should be sure that a parent/guardian grants written permission for the program to provide transportation to the minor, and you should make it clear that transportation is not being provided to and from the minor’s home but, rather, just for program events.  To obtain this permission, you can use the sample Transportation Authorization Form.  If University vehicles will be used for this transportation, then any authorized adult driving a University vehicle needs to authorized to do so by taking the Driver Safety Online Training.  If personal vehicles will be used to provide the transportation, then the authorized adults should fill out the “Personal Vehicle Questionnaire” prior to providing the transportation.  Generally, anyone providing the transportation should not have six or more points on his or her driving record, nor have any OVI record.  


Miscellaneous

The policy requirements are meant to protect minors from inappropriate contact and relationships.  If you believe that strict adherence to the policy is not feasible, and you also have specific measures in place to assure that appropriate contact and relationship boundaries are known, please contact the Office of Legal Affairs for consultation and to request a waiver from certain requirements.


During a campus-wide emergency, individuals working with minors should follow the instructions of the Office of Public Safety.  Further, the Program Coordinator should have prepared an emergency notification procedure and provided that to parents prior to the program, e.g., a program point-of-contact for emergencies, cellphone number for that person, a means for contacting parents, etc.  That emergency notification procedure should be followed as well.


That child should be segregated from the other children in a safe and respectful way, with arrangements for medical care made; keep in mind that two authorized adults should be with that child, even while separated from the rest of the program.  The incident needs to be reported to all parents/guardians.  That child's parents/guardians should be reached first (but do not let reaching them hinder the provision of care), but then the remainder of the program participants' parents/guardians should be notified of the condition too.  This type of scenario might arise if a child starts displaying measles symptoms.  That child needs to be taken care of, but all parents who children are in the program should be informed.


Yes, high school students under the age of 18, including prospective student-athletes, who are participating in pre-enrollment visitations to campus are not bound to the “two authorized adults” protocol of the Minors Policy.  However, such high school students are expected to abide by the standards of behavior expected of UD enrolled students found in the Code of Conduct portion of the University’s Student Handbook.  Also, children at the Bombeck Family Learn Center do not fall under the Minors Policy, since the Bombeck Center – as an early childhood education center – is subject to a stringent set of regulatory requirements.  Further, children accompanying their parents or guardians who work on campus, whether to the RecPlex or some other activity on campus, are expected to be appropriately supervised by their parent/guardian.


The presence of two adults who understand behavioral and reporting requirements is a best practice for working with children.  It protects the child, as there is an adult there to help hold the other adult to appropriate standards.  However, the requirement of two authorized adults also protects you.  That is, if another adult is present, then you avoid the situation of someone making a false accusation against you -- you will have another adult who actually observed what occurred.


Especially with programs off-campus, the University understands that strict adherence is not always achievable.  However, you should attempt to have another adult around, and also follow conduct protocols such not being in an enclosed room alone with a minor, etc.


Speakers typically do not work directly with minors, so they do not need a background check or training.  However, if the University guest will work with minors, that individual needs to comply with the University Minors Policy.


Generally those school kids would be subject to the supervision of their own school and be expected to abide by their school’s policies and procedures, which would include standards for appropriate behaviors as well as appropriate interactions between adults and minors.


Yes, you may use whatever method works best for you.  You may even create a quiz if you like.  The important thing is that you have a means of documenting that the individuals involved in your program have been trained on the Minors Policy.


This means that, when someone uses University facilities, the University’s preferred approach is that the University be named an “additional insured” on that third-party entity’s insurance policies, and that the entity provide documentation of such (the certificate of insurance) to the University.  Contact the University’s Office of Environmental Health & Safety/Risk Management (EHS/RM) at 937.229.4503, or visit EHS/RM's webpage about certificates of insurance, for more information. 


We recommend that you obtain the actual handwritten signature, as that helps avoid the possibility of someone else (such as a program participant) attempting to submit the form without the actual permission of the parent or guardian.


Contact the Office of Legal Affairs by email at legalaffairs@udayton.edu or by phone at 937.229.4333.


CONTACT

For questions relating to the University policies of Legal Affairs, please contact:


Office of Legal Affairs
937-229-4333
Email