IV. Policies for College-Sponsored Youth Programs
IV. Policies for College-Sponsored Youth Programs
IV. Policies for College-Sponsored Youth Programs
The scope of this provision extends to Central College’s employees, contractors, volunteers, and other authorized representatives of the College who are representing the College in conjunction with any College-sponsored Youth Programs, whether on or off campus. All persons subject to this Policy must still meet any additional requirements above and beyond this Policy that relate to the specific Youth Program. To the extent any other policy conflicts with this Policy, this Policy controls. When a Sponsoring Unit intends to present a Youth Program, the following requirements must be met.
A. Program Requirements
1. Background Checks.
a. Program Directors for Youth Programs and Authorized Adults who have Direct Contact with Minors in Youth Programs must complete a background check before the Youth Program begins. College employees who have had a background check upon their hire shall have an updated background check done within the 12 months preceding the beginning of the employee’s participation in the Youth Program.
b. Central College’s Office of Human Resources will coordinate background checks, in accordance with existing policies, including specifically the Central College Employment Investigation Background Policy.
2. Participant Information/Communication
a. The Sponsoring Unit shall maintain a list of all Youth Program participants (Minors and non-Minors) and a directory of Program Authorized Adults. This list shall include each participant’s name; local room assignment (if applicable); age; address and phone number(s) of parent or legal guardian, as well as emergency contact information.
b. The Sponsoring Unit shall establish an appropriate plan (e.g., phone tree, email, text message, etc.) for the notification of Minors’ parents/legal guardians in case of an emergency, including medical or behavioral problem, natural disasters, or other significant Program disruptions.
c. The Sponsoring Unit shall obtain a Medical Information and Release Form for each Minor Youth Program participant. All forms must include the following:
i. All emergency contact information including name, address, and phone number of the emergency contacte.
ii. A list of any physical, mental, or medical conditions the Minor has, including any allergies, that could impact his/her participation in the Youth Program.
iii. A statement authorizing the release of medical information and emergency treatment in case the parent/legal guardian/emergency contact cannot be reached for permission.
iv. The Program Director shall maintain the confidentiality of this information and share it with others only on a need to know basis.
3. Supervision of Minors and Access to University Facilities
- The Program Director and Authorized Adults should make every effort to ensure all activities involving Minors are supervised by at least two Authorized Adults. It is, however, acceptable for an individual Program staff member to provide program services to a group of participants (e.g., classroom instruction or outdoor activities) if the activity is conducted in an open or public area where the group is visible to others outside the group at all times (this includes classroom or meeting activities where open doors or windows allow for a clear line of sight).
- In accordance with the American Camp Association, the ratio of program staff to program participants must reflect the gender distribution of the participants, and should, at a minimum, meet the following:
i. Standards for resident camps are:
- One staff member for every five campers ages 4 and 5
- One staff member for every six campers ages 6 to 8
- One staff member for every eight campers ages 9 to 14
- One staff member for every 10 campers ages 15 to 17
ii. Standards for day camps are:
- One staff member for every six campers ages 4 and 5
- One staff member for every eight campers ages 6 to 8
- One staff member for every ten campers ages 9 to 14
- One staff member for every twelve campers ages 15 to 17
c. Program staff shall assign a staff member who is at least 21 years of age to be accessible to participants. If Youth Programs are using the residence halls, the assigned staff member must reside in the residence hall. Additional Authorized Adults should be assigned to ensure One-on-One Contact with Minors does not occur and that appropriate levels of supervision are exercised at all times.
a. Training for Youth Program staff must include, at a minimum, review of this Policy and procedures under this Policy, including the Guidelines for Working with Minors set out below; and completion of the online training course from the College’s training vendor, Campus Clarity: EDU - Protect Children or another online training course. Contact the Title IX Coordinator for access to online training.
b. Program staff must know how to request local emergency services and how to report Suspected Child Abuse.
a. Youth Program staff should avoid transporting Minors in College vehicles and/or personal vehicles (e.g., picking up Minors from or dropping off Minors at their homes or transporting them to and from off-campus activities) unless necessary to and authorized by the Youth Program. However, at no time shall any Youth Program Director, staff member, or Authorized Adult be alone with a Minor in any type of vehicle.
b. When traveling off-campus for activities in conjunction with Youth Programs, Youth Programs should also follow the above guidelines for the appropriate supervision and safety of Minors.
6. Electronic Communication and Social Media
a. Youth Program staff shall not have any direct electronic communications with Minors in Youth Programs unless it is related to Youth Program activities and another Authorized Adult is included on the communication.
b. Youth Program staff shall not “friend,” send messages, send photos, or otherwise contact any Minors from their personal social media accounts.
7. Rules of Conduct
Youth Program participants and staff must abide by all College rules and may be removed from the program for non-compliance with rules, including but not limited to the following:
- The possession or use of alcohol or drugs is prohibited.
Fireworks, firearms, guns, knives, and other weapons are prohibited unless being used for an officially sanctioned and approved instructional program.
The operation of motor vehicles by Minors is prohibited while attending and participating in the Youth Program.
No violence, including sexual abuse or harassment, will be tolerated.
Hazing of any kind is prohibited. Bullying, including verbal, physical, and cyber-bullying are prohibited.
Use of tobacco products will not be tolerated by participants or program staff. Smoking and vaping are prohibited on Central College property.
Misuse or damage of College property is prohibited. Charges will be assessed against those participants who intentionally damage College property.
Inappropriate use of cell phones and cameras, including use of such devices in showers, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is expected, is prohibited.
B. Guidelines for Working with Minors in Youth Programs
Those associated with Youth Programs should attempt to observe the following “dos” and “don’ts” in order to maintain a safe and positive experience for program participants, encourage parental confidence, and avoid mistaken allegations.
- Maintain the highest standards of personal behavior at all times when interacting with Minors.
- Listen to and interact with Minors and provide appropriate praise and positive reinforcement.
- Treat all Minors in a group consistently and fairly, and with respect and dignity.
- Be friendly with Minors within the context of the formal program or activity while maintaining appropriate boundaries.
- Maintain discipline and discourage inappropriate behavior by Minors, consulting with your supervisors if you need help with misbehaving youth.
- Be aware of how others might perceive or misinterpret your actions and intentions.
- Consult with other adult supervisors or colleagues when you feel uncertain about a situation.
- Be alone with a Minor. If One-on-One Contact is necessary, it must take place in an area visible to others to ensure there is no opportunity for privacy.
- Have personal contact with a Minor outside of the Program (e.g., babysitting, home visits).
- Lend to or borrow money from a Youth Program participant.
- Disclose information about Youth Program participants (contact information, medical information, photos/videos) to any individual or entity outside the Youth Program unless specifically authorized in writing by the parent or legal guardian.
- Enter a facility in use by a Minor such as a bathroom, locker room, residence hall room (if applicable), or similar area if doing so will result in a One-on-One Contact situation.
- Engage in abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a Minor.
- Hit, physically assault, or inappropriately touch Minors; use language, make suggestions, or offer advice which is inappropriate, offensive, or abusive; behave in a manner that is sexually provocative; act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle, or degrade Minors; or otherwise perpetrate any form of emotional abuse.
- Provide alcohol or illegal drugs to any Minor. Adults should not provide or administer prescription or over-the counter medication to any Minor unless specifically authorized in writing by the parent or legal guardian as being required for the Minor’s care or the Minor’s emergency treatment (e.g., epi-pen, asthma inhaler, etc.).
- Make sexual materials in any form available to Minors or assist them in any way in gaining access to such materials.
- Take photos or videos of a Minor with personal cell phones or cameras in showers, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is expected.
- Give gifts to Minors independent of gifts provided by the Youth Program.