Protection of Minors
From Appalachian State University Policy Manual
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Scope
- 3 Definitions
- 4 Policy Statements
- 4.1 Youth Program Registration
- 4.2 Youth Program Background Checks
- 4.3 Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting
- 4.4 Youth Program Training
- 4.5 Program Staff Acceptable Behavior
- 4.6 Supervision of Minors
- 4.7 Minimum Supervision Ratio for Minors
- 4.8 Overnight Youth Programs
- 4.9 Policy Implementation and Compliance
- 4.10 Enforcement
- 5 Additional References
- 6 Authority
- 7 Contact Information
- 8 Effective Date
- 9 Revision Dates
1.1 The purpose of this policy is to take affirmative steps to safeguard and protect minor children who visit Appalachian State University (“Appalachian”), participate in University sponsored programs on or off Appalachian property, or participate in third party programs and activities that utilize Appalachian property.
2.1 The policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, vendors and visitors of Appalachian who work with minors in University sponsored programs or who participate in third party programs and activities that utilize Appalachian property, including property that is owned, leased, used, or otherwise controlled by Appalachian.
2.2 This policy covers all minors as defined under this policy; however, it does not cover minors who:
- have been accepted for admittance by the University or have matriculated (i.e., a University student who has started their first day of classes or has declared their intention to enroll in classes as a student at Appalachian); however, this policy does apply to pre-enrollment overnight visits;
- are on campus for a “dually enrolled” University program while also enrolled in a primary or secondary school;
- attend events open to the general public, or private events or social functions, who are accompanied by their parent or guardian;
- are participants in the Appalachian Child Development Center, Lucy Brock Child Development Laboratory Program, or an Appalachian Laboratory School subject to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 116-239.5 et. seq.; or
- are participants in University sponsored programs that are subject to oversight by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or are participants in University sponsored programs of the Blue Cross NC Institute for Health and Human Services (IHHS). This includes clinical, field affiliates, and research affiliates of the IIHHS. However, all faculty and staff involved in IRB or IHHS activities and programs who routinely interact with, treat, supervise, chaperone, instruct, or otherwise oversee minors must comply with Sections 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, and 4.5 of this policy, and Section 4.9 and 4.10 still apply where applicable.
Notwithstanding, unless otherwise expressed in this policy, any minor on University property who is not participating in a University sponsored program, or third-party program or activity on University property, is expected to be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. The University reserves the right to determine, in its sole discretion, whether selected facilities, locations, or events on campus are appropriate for unescorted or unsupervised Minors.
Any person under the age of 18, except for those individuals referenced in Section 2.2.
3.2 One-on-One Contact
Unsupervised interaction between less than three Minors and one Program Staff, who is not the Minors’ parent or guardian, without at least one other Program Staff present (i.e., one Minor and one Program Staff, or two Minors and one Program Staff).
3.3 Program Staff
Individuals, age 18 or older, who may routinely interact with, supervise, chaperone, instruct, or otherwise oversee Minors in Youth Programs.
3.4 Youth Program
Any class, camp, program, activity, or planned event that: (a) includes the participation of a Minor, and (b) is sponsored by an academic or administrative unit of the University, regardless of the activity being conducted on or off campus, or that is managed by a third party that is utilizing Appalachian property (e.g., academic camps, sport camps, pre-enrollment prospective student visits, and activities organized by Appalachian recognized student organizations).
3.5 Youth Program Director
An individual identified by the Youth Program who is responsible for the day-to-day decision making and supervision of Minors in a Youth Program and Program Staff. This individual is also responsible for serving as the primary contact during the Youth Program with Conference and Camp Services.
4 Policy Statements
4.1 Youth Program Registration
- 4.1.1 Youth Programs must be registered and approved by Conference and Camp Services and identify a Youth Program Director at least forty-five (45) days before the Youth Program start date. Additionally, Youth Programs must be re-registered and approved by Conference and Camp services annually.
- 4.1.2 Approval will be granted by Conference and Camp Services upon a satisfactory showing that the Youth Program has fully complied with this policy and other procedures created by Conference and Camp Services in further implementation of this policy.
4.2 Youth Program Background Checks
- 4.2.1 Youth Programs are responsible for certifying that all Program Staff complete a criminal background check and sex offender registry screening before the Youth Program start date. Program Staff may not supervise or interact with Minors until a satisfactory background check and sex offender check consistent with this policy has been completed.
- 4.2.2 Program Staff who are also employees of the University throughout the duration of the Youth Program may meet Section 4.2.1 obligations if the Program Staff member has successfully complied with the background check requirements of Appalachian Policy 602.30 - Criminal Background Reports. Third party Youth Programs, and other Youth Programs with Program Staff who are not Appalachian employees, must certify to Conference and Camp Services that all of their Program Staff have completed a criminal background check and sex offender registry screening before the Program Staff start date. Program Staff whose background check reveals a prior criminal conviction for a sex offense, a crime against children, a serious violent crime involving assault or injury to others, drug use or possession, weapon offenses, or animal abuse may not participate in a Youth Program.
- 4.2.3 Program Staff who will be transporting Minors are required to have a mandatory driver’s license check. Any individual whose drivers’ license check reveals serious driving-related convictions is not permitted to transport Minors as part of Youth Program responsibilities.
- 4.2.4 Background checks must be conducted, at minimum, every four (4) years. When background checks and driver license history checks are conducted, at minimum, the checks must look at the previous five (5) years, or since the Program Staff reached the age of 18, whichever is shorter.
- 4.2.5 Any Program Staff whose background check reveals a prior criminal conviction may be prohibited from participating in a Youth Program depending on the nature of the conviction and its relevance to the Program Staff members position.
- 4.2.6 All Program Staff must self-disclose any criminal convictions or any arrest involving a sex offense, a crime against children, a serious violent crime involving assault or injury to others, drug use or possession, weapon offenses, or animal abuse. The disclosure must be made during the initial enrollment of the Program Staff member in the Youth Program, as well as within three (3) business days of the conviction or arrest.
4.3 Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting
Youth Programs and Program Staff are responsible for reporting any abuse or neglect of Minors, as well as following all other requirements as prescribed, pursuant to Appalachian Policy 111.2 – Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect. Furthermore, Youth Programs and Program Staff must also make a report to the Director of Conference and Camp Services.
4.4 Youth Program Training
Before the Youth Program start date, Youth Programs must certify that all Program Staff attend and complete annual training related to Minors including but not limited to: (a) Appalachian policies pertaining to the protection of Minors, including mandatory child abuse and neglect reporting requirements under Appalachian Policy 111.2 – Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect; (b) the detection and prevention of child abuse and neglect; (c) crisis management and safety of Minors; and (d) acceptable behaviors when interacting with Minors.
4.5 Program Staff Acceptable Behavior
Program Staff are required to conduct themselves in a professional manner appropriate for the age of the Minors they are interacting with and supervising. Program Staff must abide by Appalachian's Guidelines on Acceptable Behavior with Minors
4.6 Supervision of Minors
- 4.6.1 Minors must be supervised at all times by Program Staff, or their parents or guardians, while on University property (e.g., walking to and from Youth Program activities).
- 4.6.2 Program Staff are responsible for ensuring that Minors are restricted from accessing certain areas or equipment on Appalachian property to protect the Minors health and safety, including but not limited to laboratories and other areas where significant safety hazards may exist and strict safety precautions are required.
4.7 Minimum Supervision Ratio for Minors
- 4.7.1 Unless a more stringent ratio is required by the Director of Conference and Camp Services, all Youth Programs must adhere to the following Program Staff to Minor minimum staffing ratios:
|Age of Minor||Number of Staff||# of Minor Participants (Day)||# of Minor Participants (Overnight)|
|5 years old & Younger||1||6||N/A|
|6-8 years old||1||8||N/A|
|9-14 years old||1||10||8|
|15-17 years old||1||12||10|
- 4.7.2 Appalachian prohibits One-on-One Contact with Minors. In limited circumstances, to the extent that a Minor would like to confide in a Program Staff member, the conversation must be conducted in a well illuminated area and remain open to observation by another Program Staff member.
4.8 Overnight Youth Programs
The Director of Conference and Camp Services shall be responsible for the development and management of University procedures for housing Minors in University facilities for overnight Youth Programs. These procedures will be developed in collaboration with University Housing. However, in no event should a Minor under the age of 9 be allowed to participate in an overnight Youth Program.
4.9 Policy Implementation and Compliance
- 4.9.1 Administration of this policy shall be consistent with federal and state law and regulations, UNC System policies, and policies of the University.
- 4.9.2 The Chancellor has delegated authority and oversight for the administration and implementation of this policy to the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations, including the process and mechanism for enforcement and sanctions. The Director of Conference and Camp Services will be responsible for the development and management of University procedures consistent with this policy with oversight from the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations, including procedures to ensure that all Youth Programs have complied with background checks and training of Program Staff as prescribed under this policy.
- 4.9.3 Youth Programs and Program Staff are required to adhere to Youth Program procedures developed by Conference and Camp services, as well as federal and state laws pertaining to the supervision of Minors.
Appalachian will enforce violations of this policy, including but not limited to inappropriate conduct, leaving a Minor unattended, or not adhering to procedures prescribed by the Director of Conference and Camp Services. Violations of this policy may result in grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion from Appalachian, discontinuation or termination of a Youth Program, removal of Program Staff from a Youth Program, as well as personal civil liability or criminal sanctions.
5 Additional References
Appalachian Policy 111.2 – Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect
UNC System Policy 1300.10
7 Contact Information
Conference and Camp Services – 828-262-3045
8 Effective Date
June 1, 2020
9 Revision Dates
- March 23, 2021