Definitions

  • Camper: A minor (under age 18) who is attending a campus program for minors (program or programs) on University premises or attending a program sponsored by the University. This definition does not include University students who are under the age of 18.
  • Campus Program for Minors (Program or Programs): Any program or camp held on University premises that offers recreational, athletic, religious, or educational activities to minors, or one that is University sponsored. This excludes programs for University-enrolled students under the age of 18.
  • Camp Director: The University college, school, units, or department employee who owns, operates, or supervises a campus program for minors (program or programs), regardless of profit.
  • Custodial Responsibility: When a program assumes “custodial responsibility” of a minor, the program has the responsibility for taking care of and ensuring the well-being of a minor. The program is also legally accountable for all that happens to that minor while the minor is within the program’s custody. When a program voluntarily assumes custodial responsibility of minors, they also assume liability and thus risk. It is a manageable risk when the university’s Youth Protection Program Policy is followed. Student organizations cannot host events or programs where they take custodial responsibility of minors. If a student organization hosts an event where minors will attend, custodial responsibility must remain with teachers, parents, legal guardians, and chaperones.
  • Designated Individual(s): Any person involved in a campus program for minors (program or programs), who has contact with a minor. This includes those programs held on campus or one which is sponsored by the University. Examples of designated individuals include but are not limited to faculty, staff, student workers, volunteers, and contracted employees.
  • Event(s) or Contest(s): UIL state office-sponsored programs that provide extracurricular academic, athletic, and music contests for minors who are students at UIL member schools.
  • Joint Sponsorship: An activity in which both the University and a non-University group, association, corporation or individual sponsors.
  • Minor: An individual under the age of 18. For purposes of this policy, this definition does not include University-enrolled students under the age of 18.
  • University Interscholastic League (UIL): A unit of the University that provides educational extracurricular academic, athletic, and music contests for students who attend UIL member schools.
  • Unsupervised Access: Means either of these situations which are prohibited:
    • an individual has access to a minor and there is no other designated individual present, or
    • a designated individual is alone with a minor.
  • Youth Protection Program Director: The University employee responsible for the oversight of any camp or program involving minors held on University property or sponsored by the University.

Youth Protection Program Requirements

How do I know if my program is a campus program for minors (program or programs)?

  • Apply the three (3) question rule
    • Are you a University of Austin staff or faculty member hosting minors in a campus program for minors (camp, program, internship, employment, or lab)?
    • Are there minors in the program?
    • Are parents/guardians not expected to be responsible for their children during the program?
  • If the answer is yes to all three (3) questions, you must comply with the policy and procedures and register your program with the Youth Protection Program Director (see registration for more information).
  • If the answer is no to any of the questions, the policy does not apply.

Do I have to register with the youth protection program director when I am asked to speak at a school?

  • If the program meets the three (3) question rule you must comply with the YPP policies and procedures.
  • If the school organizes the program, the classroom teacher maintains custodial responsibility of the minors and is present throughout the duration of the program. The school is responsible for child protection training and criminal background checks.

If a school/teacher contacts me about bringing minors on campus for a program, do I have to register with the youth protection program director?

  • You do not have to register the program as long as the teacher maintains custodial responsibility of the minors and is present during the program.

If parents/guardians are required to be present at all times, does this policy still apply to me?

  • This policy does not apply if parents/guardians are present at all times and retains custodial responsibility during your program.

Does this policy apply to me if I have an event (i.e. athletic event, Explore UT, etc.)?

  • This policy does not apply to events where parents/guardians, teachers, coaches maintains custodial responsibility of the minors and is present at all times during the event.

Registration

I have a program that includes minors, what do I do now?

  • Notify the Youth Protection Program Director
    • Complete the Child Protection Training (see Training for more information)
    • Complete Criminal Background Check (see Background Check for more information)
    • Complete the program registration form once training and criminal background checks have been completed.
    • Return program registration form to youth protection program director 30 days prior to the start of your program.

Who should register the program?

  • The responsible camp director/unit coordinator (staff or faculty) is responsible for registering a program(s).

What information is required to register a program(s)?

  • program name;
  • camp director for the program;
  • list of all designated individuals and for each of them the following information
    • University employee identification number (UTEID), driver’s license number, or other government issued ID card number;
    • date employed;
    • state approved training course name;
    • course approval number;
    • date training completed; and
    • date criminal background check completed.

Training

Who takes the training?

  • All designated individuals (employees, volunteers and personnel of third party) who are working with campus programs for minors.

What information does the training include?

  • This training includes information and examination concerning warning signs of sexual abuse and child molestation.

What training is required for designated individuals?

  • Designated individuals must complete the University of Texas Child Protection Training training and examination.
  • The Child Protection Training is provided by the University at no cost to the designated individual.
  • If you are unable to access the Child Protection Training, you can take any approved State of Texas training course. You will have to provide the training certificate to the camp director.

How do I access this training?

  • Log in to UTLearn with your UT EID and password, via the UTLearn website: http://utlearn.utexas.edu.
  • Search for Child Protection Training via the Global Search box in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Click the training title and then the Request
  • Click the Launch button in your Active transcript and complete the training
    Note: Your browser must have pop-ups enabled, and you may need to verify that your Flash plug-ins are up to date.
  • Once the training is complete, the module shows a Completed status and appears in your Completed transcript. Employees can retake the test as needed to achieve a passing score.
    Note: An employee is certified for two years and must repeat the training before the end of the second year if they wish to continue employment in a camp.
  • If you receive a message stating, “you have already completed this training“:
    • Click “Request” and click “Yes” when prompted. You will be redirected to your transcript.
    • There you can click “Launch” next to “The University of Texas Child Protection Training”
  • If you receive a message stating, “you are already registered for this training
    • Go to “Learning” on the top orange header bar and select “View Your Transcript”.
    • You will see “The University of Texas Child Protection Training” and click “Launch” to the right of the training name.

How often does the training have to be completed?

  • Designated individuals must complete the training and examination every two years. If the designated individual is a new employee or volunteer, they must complete the training before the program starts.

Can the test be taken again if I do not pass?

  • The designated individual can retake the test as needed to achieve a passing score.

If a designated individual is hired for a program at the last minute for any reason, are they permitted to work before taking the training?

  • No, all designated individuals must take the training before they are allowed to work any program.

Do guests such as lecturers, speakers, etc. have to take the training?

  • Yes, if the guest is working with the campers and has unsupervised access to them, training is required.
  • No, training is not required if the guest is speaking to a group and the designated individuals are present at all times, and the guest does not have unsupervised access to the campers.

Criminal Background Check

What is the process to obtain a criminal background check?

How long does it take to process a criminal background check?

  • Typically, a background check is completed within a week.

How often must a criminal background check be conducted on designated individuals?

  • All designated individuals must undergo a criminal background check every year prior to the start of the program.

Who is responsible for ensuring that all criminal background checks have been completed prior to the start of the program?

  • It is the responsibility of the camp director (staff or faculty) or their designee.

If a designated individual is hired for a program at the last minute for any reason, are they permitted to work before the criminal background check is completed?

  • No, ll designated individuals must be cleared to work with minors before an activity or program starts. If the results are delayed, designated individuals cannot start working or volunteering until he/she is cleared.

Do guests such as lecturers, speakers, etc. need a criminal background check?

  • Yes, if the guest is working with the campers and has unsupervised access to them, a criminal background check is required.
  • No, a criminal background check is not required if the designated individuals are present at all times, and the guest does not have unsupervised access to the campers.

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding criminal background checks?

  • Contact Human Resources at 512-471-HRSC (4772) or email hrsc@austin.utexas.edu for general questions on background checks.

Prohibited Conduct

What behavior is prohibited?

Designated individuals working in programs must not engage in any behavior that could cause harm or be misinterpreted as possibly causing harm. Prohibited conduct for designated individuals includes, but is not limited to:

  • No one-on-one contact with minors is permitted outside the presence of others.
  • Do not meet with minors outside of established times for program activities.
  • Do not touch minors in a manner that a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate.
  • Do not engage in any abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a minor, including but not limited to verbal abuse, striking, hitting, punching, poking, spanking, or restraining.
  • Do not shower, bathe, or undress with or in the presence of minors.
  • Do not use, possess, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while working a campus program for minors.
  • Do not be alone in a vehicle with a minor at any time.
  • Do not have direct electronic contact with minors without another designated individual included in the communication.
  • Do not make sexual materials in any form available to minors participating in programs or activities, or assist them in any way in gaining access to such materials.

Reporting Requirements

What is the Texas state law regarding child abuse reporting?

  • Section 261.101 of the Texas Family Code mandates that anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect must report it immediately. The report may be made to any local or state law enforcement agency; or the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

Am I required to report suspected child abuse or neglect?

  • Under Texas law, if you believe a child is being abused or neglected, you are required to report it to the DFPS. Reports may be made at any time to DFPS by phone at 1-800-252-5400 or online at Texas Abuse Hotline. The hotline and website are available 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week. The University’s policy prohibits retaliation against good faith reporting of suspected abuse or neglect.

When would I need to report?

  • If you know, suspect, or receive information indicating that minor has been abused or neglected you must make a report with the DFPS.
  • If you suspect a child has been abused or neglected, report it.

How do I make a report to the University?

  • In addition to notifying DFPS and/or law enforcement, the University also requires designated individuals to report any suspected abuse or neglect of minors on University property to the associate vice president and Title IX coordinator.

If I call DFPS, do I have to report it to the camp director?

  • Yes, if the suspected abuse or neglect may have occurred in a University program or facility.

Student Organizations

Are student organizations permitted to host a program?

  • Student organizations are not permitted to host a program.
  • Student organizations may participate in a program sponsored by a college, school, unit, or department. The college, school, unit or department will be the responsible camp director and control every aspect of the program.

Joint Sponsorships

Does the University of Texas System (UT System) or the University allow joint sponsorships?

  • Joint sponsorships are only allowed upon the invitation of the UT System Chancellor, the University President, or his or her delegate.
  • In order for joint sponsorships to be appropriate it must be an educational and must not result in financial gain for the invited individual, group, association or corporation.
  • The institution is also responsible for all details of the program or activity. Which means the institution controls every element of the event. They control admissions, money, program content and staffing.

Are faculty members/staff allowed to invite programs to the university campus?

  • No, faculty members/staff are not allowed to invite programs to the university campus.

Are student organizations allowed to invite programs to the university campus?

  • No student organizations are not allowed to invited programs to the university campus.

Questions

If I have additional questions, who should I contact?

  • Youth Protection Program Director
    512-471-0594