UT Shield

Handbook of Operating Procedures 3-1710 Youth Protection Program

  1. Policy Statement
  2. Reason for Policy
  3. Scope & Audience
  4. Definitions
  5. Website For Policy
  6. Contacts
  7. Responsibilities & Procedures
    1. Presence of Minors on Campus
    2. Authority
    3. Requirements for University-Sponsored Programs Involving Minors (Excluding UIL)
      1. Program Eligibility
      2. Program Registration
      3. Communication Plan
      4. Medical Emergency Plan
      5. Supervision Plan
      6. Transportation Plan
    4. Designated Individual(s)
      1. Background Check
      2. Training
      3. Volunteer Assignment
      4. No Unsupervised Access
    5. Requirements for University Interscholastic League (UIL) Events
    6. Prohibited Conduct
    7. Reporting Requirements
      1. Reporting Suspected Abuse or Neglect
      2. Requirements for Reporting Crimes
  8. Form & Tools
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Related Information
  11. History

I. Policy Statement

It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin (“University”) to provide oversight and training for camps and programs involving minors held on University premises or operated by the University which have recreational, athletic, religious, or educational activities for the campers. This includes all camps or programs covered by Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 51.976, as well as any day camp, activity, or University Interscholastic League (“UIL”) event sponsored by the University.This policy does not apply to university course-based academic service learning or research approved by the Institutional Review Board (“IRB”).

 II. Reason for Policy

To promote the safety of minors participating in camps or programs on University premises or participating in those programs sponsored or supported by the University. This policy also supports compliance with federal and state law.

 III. Scope & Audience

This policy applies to University employees, affiliates, volunteers, contractors, and visitors who are designated individuals as defined by this policy. The policy applies to all campus programs for minors (programs) held on University property, as well as those programs sponsored by the University.

 IV. Definitions (specific to this policy)

  • 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 in-person or virtually 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

V. Website (for policy)


VI. Contacts


Youth Protection Program Director
Phone: 512‑471‑0594Youth Protection Program
University Compliance Services
Associate Vice President and Title IX Coordinator
Phone: 512‑232‑7055Title IX
Intercollegiate Athletics Manager
of Intercollegiate Athletics Camps
Phone: 512‑232‑8447
University Interscholastic League (UIL)Phone: 512‑471‑5883UIL

VII. Responsibilities & Procedures

A. Presence of Minors on Campus

The University reserves the right to condition, restrict, or deny access to University facilities by minors at its discretion. All minors, including those participating in a campus program for minors (program or programs), will be subject to all University regulations while on campus, and may be asked to leave the campus if unable to comply.

 B. Authority

The president delegates authority to the youth protection program director for oversight of any camp or program involving minors held on University property or sponsored by the University.

 C. Requirements for University-Sponsored Programs Involving Minors (Excluding UIL)

Each University-sponsored program involving the participation of minors must comply with the following terms and conditions, as well as any other applicable requirements of federal, state, or local law or regulation.

  1. Program Eligibility. The University requires any program involving minors to be sponsored and controlled by a University college, school, unit, or department. Student organizations are not permitted to hold a program. Student organizations may participate in a program sponsored by a college, school, unit, or department.
  1. Program Registration. Each University academic and administrative unit sponsoring a program in which minors participate, whether located on or off-campus, is required to register such program with the youth protection program director or designee not later than thirty (30) days prior to the commencement date of the program. Any amendments or changes to the program registration should be submitted as soon as is practicable after the need for amendment becomes known. To register a program utilize the YPP Online Registration System, and it will require:
    • 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
      • date criminal background check completed
  1. Communication Plan. In the event of an emergency, each program must follow the guidelines in the Youth Protection Program Guidebook and Program Emergency Plan regarding notification of campers’ parents/legal guardians.

    The Camp director’s responsibilities are to:

    • provide designated individuals with contact information for parents/legal guardians of campers in the event of an emergency;
    • ensure the parents/legal guardians are provided with contact information to reach the campers while the program is in session; and
  1. Medical Emergency Plan. The camp director of each program must obtain from each camper’s parent/legal guardian the following:
    • authorization to permit transportation of the camper to University Health Services or a local hospital as deemed necessary in an emergency;
    • authorization for emergency medical treatment in the event the parent/legal guardian or their designated emergency contact is not available; and
    • disclosure of any allergies, other medical conditions, or physical limitations of a camper that may impact his or her participation in the program.
  1. Supervision Plan. Each program must establish a plan for adequate supervision in light of the number and average age of campers, the program activity, and whether overnight accommodations are involved.
    • The supervision plan must specify the person having responsibility over all designated individuals serving in the program, the proposed ratio of campers to designated individuals over 21, and provide a proposed breakdown of designated individuals by category of employees, students, and volunteers.
    • Each program must have a minimum designated individual to camper ratio of the following:
    Camper Age Number Staff Overnight Campers Day-only Campers
    5 years and younger 1 5 6
    6-8 years 1 6 8
    9-14 years 1 8 10
    15-18 years 1 10 12

    The supervision plan for any overnight program must also

    • specify curfews,
    • rules pertaining to visitors, and
    • no unsupervised free time.
  1. Transportation Plan. Each program must establish a procedure for the pick-up and drop-off of campers, specifying times and locations, and assure that no camper will be released to any person other than his or her parent/legal guardian without specific written authorization.

The youth protection program director must review and approve in advance any program which provides for transportation of campers by designated individuals after drop-off by parent/legal guardian to the campus or other site.

A designated individual is not permitted, at any time, to be alone with a minor in a car or other vehicle.

 D. Requirements for Designated Individual(s)

Any University employee, student, parent/legal guardian, independent contractor, or other volunteer who will serve as a designated individual in any University-sponsored program, must first meet the following requirements.

  1. Background Check. Camp directors must ensure all designated individuals who will work with campers during the program undergo a criminal background check conducted each year of the program. The check must be conducted and successfully cleared prior to the start of the program.To determine the appropriate type of background check, refer to Human Resources reference chart at http://www.utexas.edu/hr/manager/hiring/background_check.html.The program will use the following sources in conducting a background check:
    • Texas DPS Crime Records Service – Secure or Public Site
    • a sex offender registration check
    • an appropriate out-of-state check
    • an international check for any foreign national who the camp director has reason to believe lived outside the U.S. after the age of 14 unless the person’s visa issuance or renewal occurred after implementation of the U.S. Patriot Act on October 24, 2011. (Reasonable efforts will be used to obtain such a check and it need only be conducted initially if the individual does not live outside the U.S. during the year.)
  1. Training. Designated individuals must complete the Sexual Abuse and Child Molestation Awareness training and examination. This training includes information and examination concerning warning signs of sexual abuse and child molestation.Designated individuals must achieve a score of 70% or more correct on the examination. A designated individual will be allowed to repeat the course if necessary to achieve a passing score. Upon successful completion of the course, the designated individual will receive a certificate of completion, which they will provide to the camp director.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.The University training module University of Texas Youth Protection Training is provided by the University at no cost to the designated individual.
  1. Volunteer Assignment. Camp directors must assure that all volunteers complete a volunteer application form (available from Human Resources) and are assigned to an unpaid Affiliate Worker position in the Human Resources position management system prior to the start of the program.
  1. No Unsupervised Access. Any individual not considered a designated individual (e.g. parent/guardian) must not have unsupervised access to campers.

 E. Requirements for University Interscholastic League (UIL) Events

UIL events and contests are staffed by UIL staff, contract employees, school district employees, and volunteers in supporting roles such as judges, officials, coaches, sponsors, and teachers to support student participants.

      • UIL-sponsored events are subject to Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 51.976, The University of Texas System (“UT System”) Policy UTS 124 Criminal Background Checks, and theHandbook of Operating Procedures(HOP) 5-2011 Criminal Background Checks when an event or contest lasts four (4) days or more and involves an overnight stay as part of the event.
      • In accordance with Texas Education Code (Chapter 22, Sections 22.0831-0837and Chapter 38, Section 38.0041) and Texas Administrative Code (Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 265, Subchapter N, Rule § 265.403), UIL is responsible for tracking and documenting training and criminal background checks for all UIL-affiliated volunteers and other persons working at a UIL contest or event. Responsibility for conducting training and criminal background checks for school district personnel and school district-affiliated volunteers involved in UIL events and contests rests with the school district.

 F. Prohibited Conduct

Designated individuals working in programs covered by this policy 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.

 G. Reporting Requirements

  1. Reporting Suspected Abuse or Neglect. Under Texas law, if you believe a child is being abused or neglected, you are required to report it to the Department of Family and Protective Services (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.

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

In an emergency, or if you see a crime in progress, always call 911 immediately

  1. Requirements for Reporting Crimes. University officials known as “Campus Security Authorities” are required by the Jeanne Clery Act to report to The University of Texas Police Department any suspected sexual assault or other crime that occurs on campus, on property immediately adjacent to the University, or on non-campus property or buildings owned or controlled by the University.

 VIII. Form & Tools

Youth Protection Program Guidebook
Communication Plan Template

IX. Frequently Asked Questions


X. Related Information

XI. History

Last review date: June 9, 2015
Next scheduled review date: June 2017