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UTS 192 Youth Protection Policy

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Sec. 1 Purpose

To ensure the safety of minors and compliance with laws relating to minors participating in camps, programs, internships, mentorships, or events (“Youth Program(s)”) on U.T. owned or controlled premises, or programs sponsored or supported by The University of Texas System academic and health institutions (“U.T. institutions”).

Sec. 2 Applicability

This policy applies to each U.T. institution.

Sec. 3 Policy Required

Each U.T. institution must adopt a policy on youth protection, that includes at minimum the key components described in Section 4 below.

Sec. 4 Required Key Components 

4.1 Designation. Each UT institution must designate an employee or department with specific responsibility for oversight of all Youth Programs.  Each institution must grant the employee or department sufficient authority to carry out oversight responsibilities.

4.2 U.T. Sponsorship of Youth Programs. Youth Programs must be sponsored by or affiliated with an institution’s college, school, unit or department, unless specifically authorized by an institutional president on a per-program basis.

4.3 Supervision Ratios. Each Youth Program must have the following minimum adult supervision ratio requirements consistent with the American Camp Association staff ratio standards:

Age of Youth Participants

Number of Adult Staff

Overnight

Youth Participants

Day Only

Youth Participants

5 years or younger

1

5

6

6-8 years

1

6

8

9-14 years

1

8

10

15-18 years

1

10

12

 

4.4 Requirements for Designated Individuals. Each U.T. institution must require and ensure:

a) Background checks on Designated Individuals occur prior to hire and no less than one time per year;

b) State approved training for Designated Individuals on warning signs of sexual abuse and child molestation occurs within five days of employment/volunteering with a Youth Program, prior to the start of the Youth Program, or the U.T. institution has documentation on file that verifies the Designated Individual successfully completed training within the preceding two years;

c) No unsupervised access to Youth Participants by any person other than Designated Individuals is permitted; and

d) For employees who are or become Designated Individuals on an intermittent basis, the training and background check requirements described above must be completed prior to the beginning of their participation in the applicable Youth Program.     

4.5 Prohibited Conduct of Designated Individuals. Designated Individuals must not engage in any behavior that could cause harm or be misinterpreted as possibly causing harm to Youth Participants. Prohibited conduct for Designated Individuals includes, but is not limited to:

a) No one-on-one contact with Youth Participants is permitted outside the presence of another Designated Individual.

b) Do not meet with Youth Participants outside of established times for Youth Program activities.

c) Do not touch Youth Participants in a manner that a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate.

d) Do not engage in any abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a Youth Participant, including but not limited to verbal abuse, striking, hitting, punching, poking, spanking, or restraining.

e) Do not shower, bathe, or undress with or in the presence of Youth Participants.

f) Do not use, possess, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while working a Youth Program.

f) Do not be alone in a vehicle with a Youth Participant at any time.

g) Do not have direct electronic contact with Youth Participants without another Designated Individual included in the communication.

h) Do not make sexual materials in any form available to Youth Participants participating in Youth Programs, or assist them in any way in gaining access to such materials.

4.6 Insurance. All Youth Programs must carry accident and liability insurance with coverage at least equivalent to the Camp Insurance Program offered by the U.T. System Office of Risk Management.  Any purchase of insurance must also comply with the requirements of Regents’ Rule 80601.

4.7 Reporting Requirements. Each UT institution must have processes in place to comply with federal and state reporting requirements that apply to Youth Programs.  

Definitions

Youth Participant(s) – A minor (under age 18) who is attending a Youth Program. This definition does not include University students who are under the age of 18.

Designated Individual(s) – A person involved in and assisting with a Youth Program for Youth Participants, who has contact with a Youth Participant and has been identified by the institution as a Designated Individual. Examples of Designated Individuals can include: faculty, staff, student workers, volunteers, or contracted employees who assist in Youth Programs.

Youth Program(s) – A camp, program, internship, mentorship, event, or activity held on U.T. owned or controlled premises, or sponsored or supported by a U.T. institution that offers recreational, athletic, religious, or educational activities to Youth Participants. Youth Program also includes any “Campus program for minors” as defined by Section 51.976 of the Texas Education Code. “Youth Program” as defined herein specifically includes external 3rd party youth programs that contract with UT institutions for the use of institutional facilities.  For the purposes of this Policy, this definition does not include programs for U.T. enrolled students or employees under the age of 18, or programs where the custody, control, and care of a minor (under age 18) is not the responsibility of the institution but instead held by non-UT teachers, official chaperones, parents, or legal guardians (e.g. campus tours of prospective students’ families, visits by local school district classes).