- Policy Title: Protection of Minors
- Policy Number: ESU-PO-2014-002
- Effective Date: December 5, 2014
- Adopted Date: December 5, 2014
- Last Reviewed: N/A
- Amended: N/A
- Related Policies: PASSHE-2014-01: Protection of Minors; ESU-AF-2014-001: Pre-Employment Background Check; TBD-Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse
ESU recognizes an essential obligation to protect minor children who participate in programs held on the ESU campus. For that reason, the University has adopted safeguards intended to help protect minor children by providing a safe environment in which children can learn, discover, and achieve their full potential. Additionally, this policy will promote good practices by allowing all affiliates, faculty, coaches, staff, students, contractors, vendors, and volunteers to make informed and confident responses to specific child protection issues.
Use of University Facilities: The University will establish practices and procedures to ensure that the people and organizations who are allowed to use University owned facilities for non-university sponsored programs provide the University with the following before the commencement of any program:
- a statement whether their activity will primarily serve minors; and if so,
- the identity of all authorized adults or program staff.
- certification that all legally required background checks have been obtained.
- certification that the program meets the program registration requirements or rental agreement.
University Sponsored Programs for minors:
- ESU will comply with all background checks requirements regarding the protection of minors as required by federal and Pennsylvania law.
- ESU will comply with all mandatory reporting laws as required by Federal and Pennsylvania law.
- All University personnel and University affiliates who participate in or who are in direct contact with minors as defined within this policy must complete University approved training as set forth in the Protection of Minors procedures section of this policy.
Affiliated entities and independent contractors: University independent contractors, and affiliated entities (including the affiliated entities’ contractors ), who are in direct contact with minors on campus must provide completion of all background checks requirements regarding the protection of minors as required by federal and Pennsylvania law.
Exceptions for the obligations of a mandatory reporter to report child abuse or child neglect, this policy does not apply to:
- Events on campus that are open to the public and which minors attend at the sole discretion of their parents or guardians.
- Private events where minors attend under legal parental or guardian supervision.
- Other programs, as may be designated by the University president or designated official in advance and in writing, are exempt from this policy or specific provisions of this policy.
Reason For Policy:
Affiliated Entity: A private organization (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 interactions with, treat, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee minors in programs as defined in the policy. This includes, but is not limited to faculty, staff, volunteers, graduate and undergraduate students and interns of the University, as well as 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. This definition does not include temporary guest speakers, presenters, performers, docents, guides, or other individuals who have no direct contact with program participants other than short-term activities supervised by program staff, parents or guardians; or fellow students whose only role is as a participant in the education, services, or program offered.
Child Abuse: Child abuse is defined 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:
- Physical Abuse: Acts or omissions that cause, or fail to prevent, a serious physical injury to a child.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 non-supervised interaction with minors.
Parent / Guardian: The parent or guardian of a minor.
Mandated Reporter: In a situation of suspected child abuse, all East Stroudsburg University administrators, affiliates, faculty, coaches, staff, student workers, contractors, and volunteers are considered mandated reporters.
Minors: 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.
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.
Open to the Public: Any event that is open to the general university community and/or public at large regardless of whether it is free, a fee is charged, or a ticket issued.
PASSHE Entity: One of the PASSHE Universities or the Office of the Chancellor.
Program: Programs or activities offered by various academic or administrative units of the University, or by non-university groups using University facilities where the parents or guardians are not responsible for the care, custody, or control of the minor. 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 guardians are responsible for minors, programs open to the public, or programs primarily intended for matriculated university students, faculty, and staff. Examples of programs governed by this policy include, but are not limited to, summer camps, specialty camps (e.g., academic camps), outreach activities, workshops, conferences, tutoring, educational programs, licensed child care facilities and programs, and affiliated entity activities held on ESU controlled or owned property and facilities.
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 maintained by the Program Administrator.
Sponsoring Unit: The academic unit, administrative unit, affiliated entity, or student group of the university that offers a program or grants approval for the use of university facilities.
University Property: Facilities owned by or under the control of East Stroudsburg University, 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 (including the affiliated entities contractors and vendors) on behalf of the University. All University-sponsored programs must be registered with Conference Services.
Non-University-Sponsored Programs: Programs that are not operated on behalf of the University or under the University’s direct control but have some programmatic affiliation with the University(e.g., Special Olympics, Run/Walks, March of Dimes).
Volunteer: Any individual, including students, authorized by an appropriate appointing authority or designee of an appointing authority, who provides services to the university without remuneration from the university. For purposes of this procedure/standard, this includes members of governing bodies and student associations, but does not include student volunteers for university-sponsored, short-term events of limited duration such as move-in days, community service days, commencement, etc.
Other Relevant Information:
ACT 151 – Child Abuse History Clearance as required by law https://epatch.state.pa.us/ (Note: Hard copy only and required 14 days from receipt of application)
ACT 34 – Criminal Record Check as required by law http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/background_checks_%28act_114%29/7493/act_34_background_checks/601379