Youth Programs Policy

Type of Policy: 
Administrative
Effective Date: 
May 2017
Last Revised: 
December 2016
Review Date: 
December 2017
Policy Owner: 
Legal Affairs and Risk Management
Contact Name: 
Kelly Cross
Contact Title: 
Youth Programs Compliance Specialist
Contact Email: 
kelly.cross@gatech.edu
Reason for Policy: 

Georgia Tech organizes, runs, and hosts many youth programs for non-student minors of various ages, both on and off campus, including internships, recruiting programs, summer camps, daycare, and community service projects. The intent of this policy and related procedures is to help those involved with youth programs to ensure the safety and well-being of non-student minors both on and off campus.

Anyone who suspects child abuse, must report it immediately per the Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse Policy.

Policy Statement: 


2.1 Youth Programs Registration

All youth programs and activities (on or off campus) for non-student minors at Georgia Tech, including third-party youth programs hosted on the Georgia Tech campus, must register annually with Georgia Tech. A non-registered youth program is subject to cancellation without advance notice.

2.2 Code of Conduct

Georgia Tech individuals or units organizing youth programs are responsible for ensuring that proper procedures are in place for all employees and volunteers working with minors through the program.

All employees and volunteers who participate in those youth programs must follow the Youth Programs Staff & Volunteer Code of Conduct, in addition to any program-specific procedures for working with minors that are in place for that particular youth program.

2.3 Background Checks, Pre-Screening, and Training

Georgia Tech individuals or units organizing youth programs are responsible for ensuring that all employees and volunteers who will have direct contact with non-student minors through their youth program have the following complete before being allowed to have direct contact with non-student minors:

  1. a criminal background check;*
  2. appropriate pre-screening; and
  3. training on working with minors.

*A criminal background check must have been run and cleared by the Georgia Tech Office of Human Resources within the past 12 months before initial direct contact with non-student minors and then every 4 years afterward.

2.4 Third-Party Programs

Third-party youth programs that use Georgia Tech facilities must sign a Facilities Use Agreement / License Agreement contractually agreeing to comply with Georgia Tech policy requirements for background checks and training of program employees and volunteers, and must demonstrate that they have minimum insurance requirements. 

Scope: 

This policy applies to all employees and volunteers involved in Georgia Tech youth programs, as well as third-party youth programs hosted on the Georgia Tech campus.

This policy does not apply to non-residential field trips to Georgia Tech supervised by a minor’s school or organization and that do not involve overnight lodging.

Policy Terms: 


Adult
Any person 18 years-old or older.

Child Abuse
An injury or pattern of injuries to a minor that is non-accidental. Child abuse includes sexual abuse, physical injury, or neglect.

Direct Contact
Adult employees or volunteers who are reasonably anticipated to have direct interaction with minors through a youth program. Generally, speakers, presenters, exhibitors, registration/logistics volunteers, scorekeepers, clock operators, competition judges, campus tour guides, and alumni admission interviewers do not have care, custody or control of minors and therefore are not considered to have direct contact with minors.

Georgia Tech Individual
For the purposes of this policy, a Georgia Tech Individual includes a Georgia Tech employee, a Georgia Tech volunteer, a Georgia Tech Student Organization member, or a Georgia Tech Student Organization volunteer.
Georgia Tech Unit
For the purposes of this policy, a Georgia Tech Unit includes a Georgia Tech College, School, Department, Office, or a Georgia Tech Student Organization.

Mandatory Reporter
Mandatory reporters are those that are required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect of minors to the appropriate authorities. Under Georgia state law (Georgia Code Section 19-7-5), certain Georgia Tech employees and volunteers are considered mandatory reporters. Those whose communications may otherwise be privileged or confidential are also considered mandatory reporters and must report child abuse under Georgia state law (e.g., professional and pastoral counselors).

Minor
Any person under the age of 18.

Non-Student Minors
Minors who are not registered Georgia Tech students.

Volunteer
A person participating on an unpaid basis and with a set scope of duties in a Georgia Tech structured volunteer program.

Youth Program
A program or activity for non-student minors organized and run by Georgia Tech individuals or units outside of regular academic programs. Regular academic programs are programs for registered Georgia Tech students.

Procedures: 

5.1 Youth Programs Registration

Georgia Tech requires all youth programs involving minors (under age 18) be registered annually (each calendar year) and no later than 30 days before the program start date. This includes third-party youth programs hosted on the Georgia Tech campus. Program administrators are responsible for ensuring all information is current for their listed program(s).

Additionally, program administrators are required to certify compliance with this policy and that their youth program has considered and met the following criteria in the planning of the program:

  • Pre-screening, background checks, and training of all staff and volunteers with direct interaction with minors
  • Appropriate staffing and supervision ratios by age range
  • Safety and security planning
  • Response protocols for injuries, illness, participant misconduct, and staff misconduct
  • Transportation and housing needs
  • Participation requirement forms
  • Licensing requirements of state and federal agencies

The Georgia Tech online Youth Program Registration Form is available here: http://youthprograms.gatech.edu/youth-program-registration

5.2 Code of Conduct

Youth programs are responsible for having all program employees and volunteers read and sign the Youth Programs Staff & Volunteer Code of Conduct. The Youth Programs Staff & Volunteer Code of Conduct is provided here: http://youthprograms.gatech.edu/code-conduct-youth-programs

5.3 Background Checks

Criminal background checks for Georgia Tech employees and volunteers with direct contact with non-student minors must have been run and cleared by the Georgia Tech Office of Human Resources within the past 12 months before initial direct contact with non-student minors and every 4 years afterward. Offenses dealing with domestic abuse, drugs, violence, crimes against the elderly, infirm, etc. must be assessed carefully. The youth program will be charged the vendor fee for the criminal background check. The Office of Human Resources background screening website can be found here: http://ohr.gatech.edu/screening

5.4 Pre-Screening

Youth program staff in charge of screening employees and volunteers should be aware of the inherent limitations of background checks and should seek to utilize other screening methods, when possible, to include application questions, in-person interviews, and personal and professional reference checks.

Missing application information and any personal or professional reference issues must be resolved by the youth program before an individual is allowed to have direct contact with non-student minors within the program.

5.5 Training

Georgia Tech employees and volunteers with direct contact with non-student minors must complete the Georgia Tech training on working with minors, in addition to any program specific training. The Georgia Tech online training is available here: http://youthprograms.gatech.edu/training

5.6 Third-Party Programs

Third-party youth programs that use Georgia Tech facilities must sign a Facilities Use Agreement / License Agreement contractually agreeing to comply with Georgia Tech policy requirements for background checks and training of program employees and volunteers, and must demonstrate that they have minimum insurance requirements.

The model Facilities Use / License Agreement for third-party youth programs is available here: http://youthprograms.gatech.edu/forms

Contact Legal Affairs (asklegal@gatech.edu) and Insurance and Claims Management (gtinsurance.ask@business.gatech.edu) before executing a license agreement with a third-party program.

5.7 Minors in Labs

All Georgia Tech employees inviting minors in labs must follow the Minors in Laboratories, Hazardous Areas and Animal Facilities Policy and use the Minors in Labs forms available here: https://www.ehs.gatech.edu/minors

5.8 Mandatory Reporting Procedures

Per Georgia Tech’s Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse Policy, all Georgia Tech employees and volunteers acting in the course of their employment or service to Georgia Tech must immediately report any reasonable suspicion or knowledge of abuse of a minor, including inappropriate touching, sexual or physical abuse, or neglect to:

  1. Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD), and
  2. Youth Program Director or other Georgia Tech official who can take immediate action.

The Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse Policy is available here: http://www.policylibrary.gatech.edu/mandatory-reporting-child-abuse-policy

5.9 Documentation and Records Retention

Georgia Tech individuals or units sponsoring youth programs or activities are responsible for keeping documentation about their program/activity, employees, volunteers, and youth participants, and retaining the documentation for the proper records retention period – until 3 years after youth participants reach the age of 18. These documents may include: applications, enrollment records, progress reports and assessments, immunization records, parental consent forms, activity records, and lists of attendees.

The Georgia Tech Office of Human Resources is responsible for keeping and retaining documentation of background checks and training for Georgia Tech employees and volunteers who have direct contact with non-student minors.

The University System of Georgia Records Retention Schedule for Child and Youth Program Participant Records is available here: http://www.usg.edu/records_management/schedules/925

Contact Legal Affairs for more information on statute of limitations and records retention: asklegal@gatech.edu 

Enforcement: 

Georgia Tech reserves the right to periodically audit youth programs for compliance with this policy. Violations of this policy could result in disciplinary action for Georgia Tech employees, students, and volunteers in accordance with Institute procedures. A non-registered youth program is subject to cancellation without advance notice.

Failure of a mandatory reporter to report suspected child abuse is a violation of state law and the mandatory reporter may be subject to criminal penalties.

To confidentially report suspected instances of noncompliance with this policy, please visit Georgia Tech’s EthicsPoint, a secure and confidential reporting system, at: https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/7508/index.html

Related Documents: 
Policy History: 
Revision Date Author Description
December 2016 Legal Affairs and Risk Management Compliance with New Board of Regents Policy 12.9
June 2015 Legal Affairs and Risk Management Background Check and Training Time Period
May 2014 Legal Affairs and Risk Management New Policy

 

 

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